A majority of the more than 100 kidnapped Iraqi government workers were released or rescued by early Wednesday, according to pan-Arab news channel al-Iraqiya, citing an Interior Ministry spokesperson.
Several male employees of the Iraqi ministry of higher education and research were kidnapped from a state research institute in central Baghdad earlier on Tuesday.
Most of the employees had been "freed by interior ministry troops in different sections of Baghdad," the spokesperson said.
Hundreds of US and Iraqi army and police forces swept through Baghdad in armoured vehicles Tuesday in search for the hostages, who were nabbed shortly after beginning work in Karrada district.
Female staff members were locked in a room and their mobile phones taken.