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Friday March 24, 2006
Family members of the three aid workers held hostage in Iraq
were overjoyed and overwhelmed Thursday after learning the
captives had been freed and were finally coming home.

"It's like having huge sacks of concrete lifted off your soul. I
feel so light and I can do anything now," Ed Loney said of his
brother James Loney, 41, of Toronto.

Canadians Loney, 41; Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32; and Briton
Norman Kember, 74, were held hostage for nearly four
months before a multinational military operation rescued
them Thursday.

"At first I was in disbelief. I thought it was a dream actually,
another odd dream in this whole nightmare sequence," Ed
Loney told CTV Vancouver.

He described the ordeal as a roller coaster ride for his family.

"We're all just over-the-top happy," he said.

In Vancouver, Loney's sister-in-law Donna Laframboise said
their hearts "definitely jumped" when they learned of the
release from Loney's parents, Pat and Claudette, who live in
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

"We're in a bit of shock maybe, a bit of disbelief,"
Laframboise said shortly after hearing the news. "We hugged
each other and there were a few tears of joy."
Spectre of civil war in Iraq grows
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