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Friday, September 10, 2004

Ansar al-Zawahiri gives Italy 24-hour ultimatum on hostages

Hattip to My Pet Jawa
This story was printed from channelnewsasia.com
Title : Ansar al-Zawahiri gives Italy 24-hour ultimatum on hostages
By :
Date : 10 September 2004 1646 hrs (SST)
URL : http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/105944/1/.html
BAGHDAD : The militant Ansar al-Zawahiri group has given Italy 24 hours to promise to release Muslim women prisoners in Iraq in exchange for details about two kidnapped women aid workers, in a statement published on a website. "We ask Italy to promise unconditionally to release all Muslim women prisoners from Iraqi prisons. In turn we will give a little information about the Italian female hostages," said the statement. It was impossible to independently verify the authenticity of the statement. "The Italian government has 24 hours to reply to our demands, otherwise Italian people will never discover the fate of the Italian women hostages." Posted on www.islamic-minbar.com, the group claimed responsibility for Tuesday's kidnapping of the two Italians, taken along with two Iraqi colleagues -- including another woman -- but provided no proof. Simona Pari and Simon Torretta, both aged 29, were seized from their Baghdad office at gunpoint on Tuesday. In a videotape broadcast late Thursday on Al-Jazeera television, Al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri forecast a US "defeat" in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ansar al-Zawahiri translates as supporters or upholders of Zawahiri. - AFP

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