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French hostage in 'second tape'


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French hostage in 'second tape'

A videotape of a French journalist held hostage in Iraq is the second to be released, says the French government.

Prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said they received a first tape of Florence Aubenas last week, which had been shown to her family.

Ms Aubenas, of Liberation newspaper, is thought to have been snatched along with her interpreter, Hussein Hanoun al-Saadi, in Baghdad on 5 January.

Looking thin and exhausted on the latest tape, she appealed for help.

"We are very concerned by the situation," Mr Raffarin told reporters.

"We already had a video document last week, which we showed to the family. At the moment, laboratories are analysing this second document to find out whether it (was made) before or afterwards."

He said the government was "very mobilised" to secure the captives' release.

'Bad psychologically'

In the new video, broadcast by Sky Italia news channel, Ms Aubenas looked distraught, clutching her knees to her chest. She had bedraggled hair, and wore a grey sweatshirt and black trousers.

"My name is Florence Aubenas. I'm French. I'm a journalist with Liberation," she said in English.

"My health is very bad. I'm very bad psychologically also."

There had been little news on Ms Aubenas since her disappearance.

Liberation's foreign editor, Francois Sergent, said the emergence of the video was "both what we feared and what we hoped for".

"It is a sign that they are alive, of course, but we also feared this because the hostages are being held in conditions that make the pictures terrible to see."

Ms Aubenas is at least the third French journalist to be kidnapped in Iraq. Two others, Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot, were freed late last year.

They had been held for nearly four months.

Plea to MP

On the tape Ms Aubenas, 43, appealed for help.

"This is urgent now. Help me! I ask especially Mr Didier Julia, the French deputy. Please Mr Julia. Help me! It's urgent. Mr Julia help me!" she pleaded.

Mr Julia, an MP for President Jacques Chirac's ruling UMP party, led a failed mission last year trying to secure the release of Mr Malbrunot and Mr Chesnot.

He was condemned in France for taking unilateral action and jeopardising official attempts to free the men.

Two of his assistants are under investigation for their role in the venture, and Mr Julia said he would seek the French government's permission before responding to Ms Aubenas' request.

Two weeks ago an Italian reporter, Giuliana Sgrena, was shown on video begging for help after her own kidnap in Iraq.

Ms Sgrena, who works for the Italian Il Manifesto newspaper, urged foreign troops to leave Iraq.

There has been no news of her since.

Story from BBC NEWS:


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Swedish hostage in plea to Pope

A Swedish citizen of Iraqi descent held hostage in Iraq for more than a month has pleaded for his life in a video.

In the footage, Minas Ibrahim al-Yussufi is seen appealing directly to the king of Sweden and the Pope to intervene to save his life.

Mr Yussufi, Secretary General of Iraq's Christian Democratic Party, was captured travelling from the northern city of Mosul to Baghdad in January.

His captors said they would kill him unless they got a $4m (£3m) ransom.

"I have been transferred to the execution unit of the Iraqi Vengeance Brigades, which certainly means my death and execution," Mr Yussufi says in Arabic in the footage.

'Save my life'

"I appeal to honest men in Iraq and across the world, to the king of Sweden and his holiness Pope John Paul II to work to save my life, save my life, save my life."

He is seen speaking in front of a white wall with a black flag emblazoned with the name of his alleged captors, the Iraqi Revenge Brigades-Martyrs of al-Isawy Company.

He made a similar appeal in another videotape which was sent to media outlets in Iraq last month.

Mr Yussufi had been living in Sweden since the early 1990s, but returned to Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003.

His family said the captors had demanded a 28 million kronor ransom, as well as timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and a United Nations takeover of peacekeeping in the country.

Sweden's foreign ministry confirmed knowledge of the tape, and said they were working with Swedish police to secure his release.

About 200 foreign nationals have been kidnapped in Iraq in the past 12 months.

At least 13 are still thought to be being held captive, 30 have been killed and the rest are believed to have been freed or escaped.

Story from BBC NEWS:


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So print fake money, And attach a small explosive device (I mean extremely small) And detonate it. Then let the money burn, so theres no fake money on the market and you get your captive.

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So print fake money, And attach a small explosive device (I mean extremely small) And detonate it. Then let the money burn, so theres no fake money on the market and you get your captive.

Why do I suddenly feel insecure about the future? I am so glad that your thinking is a minority of those in your age group. yes.gif

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Then french person would be released in any case as it was the french who craped out of going to war in the first place

To mutch to loose i supose

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