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U.A.E. Says Iraq Militants Release Indonesian Hostages

4 October 2004 -- Diplomats of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) say that an Iraqi militant group has handed over two Indonesian women hostages to them at the U.A.E. Embassy in Baghdad.

The U.A.E.-based Arabic-language Abu Dhabi television station showed footage of the two veiled women, who appeared to be in good health.

A group calling itself the Islamic Army in Iraq said last week it kidnapped the women among 10 hostages, including six Iraqis and two Lebanese men.

The group later offered to release the women if Jakarta freed cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, detained on suspected terror links. But the Indonesian Muslim cleric refused to be freed in exchange for the women and Indonesia also said it would not free him.

It was not clear what is the fate of the remaining eight hostages.


For the latest news on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".