3 September 2004 Events in Iraq
18.38 Paris. RAFFARIN, HOPEFULLY CAUTIOUS. French PM Jean Pierre Raffarin has called for caution although he is optimistic about the prisoner release despite obstacles.
18.19 Washington. US DEPUTY SECRETARY: "IT’S WRONG TO NEGOTIATE WITH KIDNAPPERS". [Deputy Secretary John Bolton is unhappy about hostage release and blames French for appeasing terrorists—Nur].
16.56 Baghdad. IRAQI LEADER: HOSTAGES TO BE RELEASED SOON. Adnan Pachachi, member of the Interim Government Council, says French hostages will be released soon.
16.45 Baghdad. MACEDONIAN HOSTAGES TO BE RELEASED. Sofan Engineering knew its workers were kidnapped on 21 August but communicated the news to family members only on yesterday. Kidnappers, thought to be common criminals, have demanded $300,000 in ransom.
16.29 Baghdad. POSITIVE SIGNALS FOR RELEASE. Sheik Hisham Duleimi, a mediator in the French hostage crisis says there are tangible and positive indications that the captives are about to be released.
15.47 Paris. DIRECTOR RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONAL: "HOSTAGES WITH INTERMEDIARIES BUT DANGER IS HIGH". There are 40 to 50 km between the release location and the airport where there is a risk of attack.
15.33 Baghdad. IRAQI MEDIATOR "FRENCH REPORTERS TO BE FREED SHORTLY".
15.29 Baghdad. GRENADES THROWN AT ITALIAN NGO OFFICES. A grenade was thrown into the courtyard of the Italian NGO coordinating center in Baghdad. A second, unexploded grenade lander a few steps away.
15.27 Paris. "THE FRENCH REPORTERS ARE NOT RELEASED". Radio France International says it has no confirmation of release of hostages..
14.44 Paris FRENCH RADIO: "REPORTERS ON WAY TO AIRPORT".
14.33 Dubai. AL ARABIYA: "ALL SET FOR HOSTAGE RELEASE." Al Arabiya says hostages were transferred to Fallujah, where they will be released shortly.
13.47 Baghdad. IRAQI ULEMA: FRENCH REPORTERS "ARE SAFE FROM HARM". The Iraqi Council of Ulema says release near.
13.36 Rome. BALDONI'S NEWSPAPER ACCUSES ITALIAN GOVERNMENT: "THEY HAD KNOWLEDGE OF KIDNAPPING". The Italian government had been aware of the attack on the Red Cross convoy, the kidnapping of Enzo Baldoni and the murder of his driver", writes Italian newspaper Diario, for which Enzo Baldoni had worked.
13.32 Treviso. BROTHER OF KIDNAPPED BUSINESSMAN MAKES PLEA TO ITALIANS. Emad Wali, brother of Iraqi businessman Ajad Anwar Wali, asks Italians to help in the release of his brother.
13.12 Rome. BERLUSCONI: "FRANCE ASKED ITALY FOR HELP IN RELEASING HOSTAGES". Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi claims France contacted Italy for help in releasing hostages. [Another cheap shot--Nur]
12.56 Baghdad. RELEASED LEBANESE HOSTAGE: "THEY KILLED A MAN BEFORE MY EYES". A Lebanese, freed by his kidnappers, says he was witness to prisoner execution.
12.10 Baghdad. IRAQI PRESIDENT POSTPONES TRIP TO FRANCE. President Ghazi al-Yawar has postponed his official visit to France which had been scheduled for tomorrow. [Postpones? I think Chirac pulled the carpet out from under al-Yawar after Allawi's belligerent comments, ya think?--Nur]
11.33 Dubai. AL ARABIYA: "FRENCH JOURNALISTS MOVED TO FALLUJAH". The French hostages kidnapped by the Islamic Army of Iraq have been transferred to the area of Latifiya (37 km south of Baghdad) near the city of Fallujah, says Al-Arabiya TV.
11.24 Kirkuk. PIPELINE BURNS. The Kirkuk-to-Ceyhan pipeline fire is still raging out of control.
11.15 Baghdad. IRAQI TERRORIST GROUP CALLS FOR RELEASE OF HOSTAGES: A previously unheard of terrorist group, The Wind of Death Brigade, asks kidnappers to spare French hostages.
11.02 Paris. JORDANIAN AMBASSADOR: HOSTAGES MAY BE RELEASED TODAY". Dina Kawa, Jordanian ambassador to France, says today may the the day.
10.36 Baghdad. KIDNAPPER'S MESSAGE ON WEB: "OUR DECISION MAY BE EXPECTED SOON". Legal counsel to the Islamic Army will announce the decision of the group. We have delegated no one to speak on our behalf.