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Published: Tuesday June 17, 2014 MYT 8:30:02 PM
Updated: Tuesday June 17, 2014 MYT 8:31:47 PM

Eight Siemens workers rescued from Iraq, says Germany

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrives to the the ceremonial greeting of heads of states during the G77+ China Summit in Santa Cruz de la Sierra June 15, 2014. REUTERS/David Mercado

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrives to the the ceremonial greeting of heads of states during the G77+ China Summit in Santa Cruz de la Sierra June 15, 2014. REUTERS/David Mercado

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German foreign ministry said on Tuesday that eight Germans working for the engineering company Siemens had been rescued from an area of Iraq that has fallen into the hands of insurgents north of Baghdad.

"All the German employees who were trapped in the power plant in Baiji are now in safety," said a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.

Although the workers were not in acute danger, fears had grown that the Islamists might take the foreign workers hostage.

Last week Sunni militants moved into the northern town of Baiji, home to Iraq's largest refinery, before later withdrawing to nearby villages.

Spiegel online reported that Iraqi military helicopters and an aircraft chartered by Siemens had flown the foreign workers out of the danger zone on Sunday. The technicians had been modernising the plant.

Siemens declined to comment.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Writing by Stephen Brown and Madeline Chambers)

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