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Iraqi Leader Promises Aid Package For Al-Fallujah

18 October 2004 -- Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said his government will send a $2 million aid package to residents of Al-Fallujah, west of Baghdad.

Earlier, the U.S. Army released an Al-Fallujah leader involved in negotiations to avert an Iraqi assault inside the insurgent stronghold.

Iraq's interim prime minister has threatened to invade the city unless Al-Fallujah residents hand over Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi -- who has a $25 million price on his head -- and other militants believed to be hiding in the city.

A spokeswoman from the Jordanian government, Asma Khodr, urged today U.S. troops to lift a siege around the city to help ease the humanitarian plight of the city's inhabitants during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Arabic television Al-Jazeera said today it has received a videotape from the Islamic Army in Iraq showing the killing of two Macedonian hostages accused of spying for the United States.

It is not clear whether they are among the three Macedonian contractors seized by militants in August.