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Chinese Also Kidnapped

Posted April. 12, 2004 22:09,   


The fate of the kidnapped Japanese has become the most imminent and awaited topic as the execution time of captives revealed by the Iraqi insurgents draws closer. Going on the fifth day of their abduction, the release of the captives is still unclear and has seen little progress even on Monday.

With seven Chinese also captured by the Iraqi insurgents on Sunday, the protection of not only the dispatched armies but also citizens of countries involved are also in a state of emergency.

Mazhar al-Delemie, who claims himself as a mediator to the Japanese kidnapping group, appeared on the Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera on Monday and reconfirmed their position by saying, “The time set by the criminals for the defense troops to pull out of Iraq is Monday, 10 p.m. (Korean time).”

He added that if the troops do not pull out by then, one captive would be executed.

However, Japanese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Ichiro Aisawa, who has been sent to Jordan to resolve this abduction case, revealed that he has no plans of visiting Iraq despite a demand made by Iraqi armed insurgents.

Meanwhile, China’s official state news agency Xinhua reported on Monday that seven Chinese were kidnapped by armed forces on April 11. It has been told that seven men from Fujian province who were trying to enter Iraq through Jordan had been captured, probably in the Fallujah region.

The Chinese government expressed their concerns and gave orders to the foreign ministry and the Chinese embassy in Iraq to do their best so that the kidnapped men would be freed as soon as possible.

Although there was a momentary lull in the confrontation between Iraqi insurgents and the U.S. military, three marines, who were members of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, were killed by the insurgents on Sunday in Al Anbar province, western Baghdad.

Young-Sik Kim Hun-Joo Cho spear@donga.com hanscho@donga.com