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Archive for the ‘Hostages’ Category

The New York Times | Jeffrey Gettleman | August 1, 2011

The Shabab Islamist insurgent group, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country and setting up a cantonment camp where it is imprisoning displaced people who were trying to escape Shabab territory.

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MAHUMUD-E-RAQI, Afghanistan (AP) — The calls were threatening and they just wouldn’t stop. The extortion demand was several hundred thousands of dollars.

“Or else,” said the caller.

Fearful, the civil engineer started to pay. But it was never enough. (more…)

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Press TV
November 1, 2010

A new spate of violence in Iraq has caused the death of eight people and wounded more than a dozen others as the country experiences a bloody hostage-taking crisis.

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — One of the highest-level European delegations to visit this war-torn country in years has failed to persuade the Sri Lankan government to declare a temporary truce with ethnic Tamil rebels.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa emphatically rejected the appeal Thursday and told Western governments to stop lecturing him, news agencies reported.

“The government is not ready to enter into any kind of cease-fire with the terrorists,” he said. “It is my duty to protect the people of this country. I don’t need lectures from Western representatives,” he said in a speech distributed by his office and quoted by the agencies.

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By BBC News
Sri Lankan troops will no longer use heavy weapons or air strikes in fighting against Tamil Tiger rebels in the north-east, the government says.
The statement said the army would focus on trying to rescue civilians. Concern has been rising over civilian deaths.
The rebels are boxed in to a shrinking patch of land which they share with thousands of civilians.

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Facing imminent battlefield defeat, Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels declared a unilateral cease-fire Sunday and called on the government to halt its offensive to spare the tens of thousands of civilians trapped by the fighting.

The government rejected the appeal and accused the rebels of playing for time as the military stands poised to rout them and end the separatist war that has plagued this Indian Ocean island nation for a quarter century.

(more…)

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By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Indian officials took a demand for an immediate cease-fire in Sri Lanka’s civil war to the country’s president on Friday as the U.N. reported that nearly 6,500 ethnic Tamil civilians were killed in the last three months.
Concern for the safety of civilians trapped in the ever-shrinking war zone has increased in recent weeks as the government pushed ahead with its offensive to crush the rebels and end the nation’s quarter-century civil war.
The U.N. estimates that 50,000 people are still trapped in the war zone, spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said Friday.

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