RealNews

French Hopes for Speedy Iraq Hostage Release Fade

Hopes for a speedy release of two French hostages in Iraq gave way to expressions of doubt and concern Tuesday after a statement setting out new demands for their release was posted on a Web site. Officials could not confirm whether the statement, posted on Monday and demanding a $5 million ransom within 48 hours to free Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, was genuine and said they were exercising “extreme discretion” and “total caution.” Foreign Minister Michel Barnier, on a visit to Skopje, had no fresh word on the hostages’ fate but said he was ready to return to Amman if needed to continue working for their release.Full Story

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