Fox kidnappers set 72-hour deadline

New Palestinian group demands release of Muslim prisoners held by US.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 23, 2006 16:31
1 minute read.
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A previously unheard-of Palestinian group released video footage on Wednesday showing two kidnapped Fox News journalists, and demanded that Muslim prisoners in US jails be released within 72 hours in exchange for the men, the Palestinian news agency Ramattan reported. The footage was the first sign of American correspondent Steve Centanni, 60, and cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36, of New Zealand since they were kidnapped August 14 from their TV van near the Palestinian security services headquarters in Gaza City. Although Palestinian terrorist groups have often seized foreigners, including members of the media, this is the longest any have been held. Earlier, the news agency said the kidnappers had demanded the release of Palestinian prisoners. In the video footage, the men, sitting on the floor in sweat suits, appeared to be in good health. No armed men were seen. The journalists were heard saying in the video that they were in good hands and appealed to their governments to respond to the kidnappers' demands. "We are going to exchange the Muslim female and male prisoners in American jails in return for the prisoners that we have. We are going to give you 72 hours beginning midnight tonight to take your decision," Ramattan quoted the kidnappers' statement as saying. The group did not say what would happen if the deadline passed unanswered, Ramattan reported. "If you implement and meet our condition, we will fulfill our promise. If not, wait, and we are going to wait," the statement said.

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