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Report: French Hostages Handed Over To Iraqi Group

2 September 2004 -- The editor of the French newspaper "Le Figaro" has said today that Islamic militants have handed over two French journalists to an Iraqi group.

The Iraqi group is quoted as saying that it is in favour of releasing them.

Jean de Belot said on France Info radio that the news is positive but that he remains cautious until the men were in safe hands.

De Belot said that the latest information is that Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot have been handed over by the Islamic Army in Iraq to an Iraqi Sunni guerrilla group.

Malbrunot is a staffer of the "Le Figaro" newspaper.

Meanwhile, a French Muslim organisation called on imams to make tomorrow a national day of prayer for the safety of the two journalists. The journalists were taken hostage last month.