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|Yasser Arafat has died||
31 Dec 2005 07:22 AM
NOV 10: Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, 75, the leader who passionately sought a homeland for his people died early Thursday in Paris.
Mr Arafat had been in a coma since 3 November and later suffered a brain haemorrhage.
Yasser Arafat suffered brain damage and kidney and liver failure, said French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin.
Preparations are under way to hold a funeral service in the Egyptian capital Cairo, possibly as early as Friday.
After a religious and military ceremony at the main airport,
the 75-year-old's body will be taken to the West Bank town of
Ramallah for burial.
Egypt said it was willing to host a state funeral for Mr
1994, Arafat was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Israeli
leaders Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, for their work on the Oslo
accords, seen at the time as a breakthrough toward an independent
Palestinian state and a permanent peace with Israel. Yet a decade
later, Arafat died without seeing his dream of a Palestinian
homeland come true.
|Hostage 'slaughter houses' found in Fallujah|
NOV 10, Near Fallujah - Iraqi troops found homes where
foreign hostages were held and slaughtered in Fallujah, said Major
General Abdul Qader Mohan, chief military spokesperson for the
joint US-Iraqi operation in the rebel city.
"We have found hostage slaughter houses in Fallujah that were used by these people (kidnappers) and the black clothing that they used to wear to identify themselves.
"Also hundreds of CDs (compact discs) and whole records with names," he told reporters at a military base near the rebel city.
He said the homes were in the northern sector of the city.
Black clothing and masks worn by the kidnappers when they made the videos were found, along with banners hoisted in the background, according to Iraqi and U.S. military officials.
Asked if the hostage records included the names of British aid director Margaret Hassan, French journalists Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot or any other hostages still missing in Iraq, the general said: "I did not look closely."
More than 30 hostages executed
As of early November, more than 30 hostages have been executed in Iraq.
Hassan, head of Care International's Iraq operations, was kidnapped in Baghdad on October 19.
Her nameless captors had threatened to hand her over to the most ruthless band in Iraq, led by Islamic militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, by a November 4 deadline unless Britain pulled its troops out of Iraq.
Nothing has been heard since of the 59-year-old, who is married to an Iraqi and holds dual Iraqi citizenship.
Chesnot of Radio France Internationale and Malbrunot of Le Figaro newspaper were abducted on August 20 south of Baghdad, along with their Syrian driver, Mohammed al-Jundi.
French foreign minister Michel Barnier said on Sunday that his government knew that the hostages were "still alive a few days ago" after a botched attempt in September to rescue them.
"We are continuing are work in difficult circumstances. We are having to deal with extremely scattered, disparate groups with different motivations," the minister added.
Hopes they would be released have been dashed several times, most notably when French lawmaker Didier Julia unwisely announced at the end of last month that their liberation was imminent. (AFP)
Three family members of Iraqi PM kidnapped|
Stop the assault on Fallujah in two days or your
family members will be exectued. That's the message a radical
Islamic group is giving Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi after
they kidnapped three members of his family on Tuesday in Baghdad.
Taken were Allawi's first cousin, Ghazi Allawi, his wife and their
A posting on an Islamic website by a group calling itself Ansar al-Jihad made the threat today. In addition to the end of the Fallujah raid, the group is demanding the release of prisoners held by American and Iraqi government forces.
The posting on the website was very specific. It read in part, 'We promise Allah and his messenger that if the agent government doesn't respond to our demands within 48 hours, they (the hostages) will be beheaded.'
Ghazi Allawi is 75 years old and reportedly not involved in politics in any way. Still, Iraqi government official speculate that he was kidnapped because the security around the Prime Minister was so tight and this was the closest way they could get to him.
More than 30 hostages have already been beheaded by Islamic terrorist groups in Iraq.