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Iraqi Group Extends Deadline For Filipino Hostage

12 March 2005 -- The Philippines' Foreign Ministry says an Iraqi militant group has indefinitely extended the execution deadline for a Filipino accountant held captive since 1 November 2004.

The kidnappers of Roberto Tarongoy had earlier said they would kill him by 11 March. But a Foreign Ministry spokesman, Gilbert Asuque, today said a team in Iraq led by Foreign Undersecretary Rafael Seguis said the kidnappers had given an indefinite extension to the deadline.

The spokesman said Seguis' team is trying to explain to the kidnappers that Filipino civilians in Iraq are there voluntarily trying to earn a living and not part of the U.S.-led forces.

Tarongoy was seized with an U.S. co-worker in November 2004. The fate of the American is unknown.