Archive for the hostages Category

NATO troops free reporter, while Afghan translator and UK soldier are killed

Posted in hostages with tags , , , on September 9, 2009 by admin

NYT reporter freed; Afghan aide killed in rescue – Yahoo! News

British commandos freed a New York Times reporter in an early Wednesday raid on a Taliban hide-out in northern Afghanistan. The journalist’s Afghan translator and one of the troops were killed in the rescue, officials said. 

Reporter Stephen Farrell was taken hostage Saturday along with his translator in the northern province of Kunduz when they went to cover a German-ordered airstrike of two hijacked fuel tankers. The bombing, carried out by U.S. jets, caused a number of civilian casualties.

A UK soldier was also killed. He is believed to be a paratrooper. Another two civilians were killed in the cross-fire (What were doing several civilians on a cross-fire there?).

About the Kunduz mission, Angela Merkel has defended the raid, while underlining she deeply regreted any civilian lifes lost after German actions. The difficulty in separating Talibans from civilians makes it,  in turn, very difficult to know how many of each were killed.

German Defense Minister on Afghan NATO’s air strike.
Scores killed after NATO air strike on tanks of petrol, hijacked by Afghan Taliban.

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Pakistani ex-MP, accused of Stanczak’s beheading, alleges abduction

Posted in counterterrorism, hostages with tags , , on September 6, 2009 by admin

A former Pakistani lawmaker says he was kidnapped by security agencies after he refused to act as a Taliban informer.Shah Abdul Aziz told the BBC he was “dragged” into the case of the kidnapping and murder of a Polish engineer after his refusal. He was released on bail on Thursday and denies any involvement in the case.

He has been accused of the beheading of Polish engineer Piotr Stanczak.

Hamas: Meshal in Cairo to discuss Shalit deal

Posted in hostages with tags , on September 5, 2009 by admin

Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Meshal is in Cairo to discuss a prisoner exchange deal for the release of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, a spokesman for the Islamist group said on Saturday.

Mashaal arrived in Cairo on Saturday, where he will meet Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.

Spokesman Ayman Taha said Meshal will also discuss restarting Palestinian reconciliation talks.

Body ‘is British Iraq hostage’

Posted in hostages on September 3, 2009 by admin

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he is “deeply saddened” that a body believed to be a British hostage has been passed to authorities in Iraq.The prime minister’s spokesman said efforts were now under way to “urgently establish identity”.
Five British men were taken captive in Baghdad in July 2007. The families of hostages Alan McMenemy and Alec MacLachlan, who worked as security guards in Iraq, had previously been told they are “very likely” dead. The bodies of two men who were shot dead, fellow security guards Jason Swindlehurst and Jason Creswell, have already been released.
In a statement, UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband said he believed remaining hostage Peter Moore – an IT consultant – was still alive.

Was this justified?

Two UNAMID’s peacekeepers kidnapped in Sudan

Posted in hostages on August 29, 2009 by admin

Two members of the joint UN/African Union (Unamid) peacekeeping force have been kidnapped in Sudan’s western Darfur region, officials say.

A Unamid spokesman said the pair – a man and a woman – were abducted in the western town of Zalingei.

The victim’s nationalities have not been made public.

It comes two days after the UN’s military commander in the region said the six-year war there between the government and rebels was over.

According to UNAMID’s speaker, they were both civilians.

French security agent kidnapped in Somalia, freed

Posted in hostages with tags , on August 27, 2009 by admin

A French security agent kidnapped by insurgents in Somalia last month was a free man Wednesday and under protection at the presidential palace, officials said.

There were conflicting reports over whether the man escaped or was released and whether he had killed three of his captors. The fate of another French security agent kidnapped with him was not immediately clear.