( AP ) - A Christian cleric who was abducted earlier this week in southeast Turkey was rescued Friday by security forces, a friend said.
Assyrian cleric Daniel Savci was rescued in the province of Batman two days after he was abducted in nearby Mardin province, Gabriel Akkurt, another Assyrian cleric, told The Associated Press.
The kidnappers had called Akkurt after abducting Savci and demanded $445,000 in ransom.
The Dogan news agency showed footage of Savci hugging one of the Turkish soldiers after he was rescued.
"May our state, country and army be blessed," Savci said in the video. "We are happy."
Akkurt said he did not know the details of the operation or whether any ransom was paid.
Assyrians are a religious minority in Turkey, which is predominantly Muslim but secular.