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Europe

Solana Calls for Release of French Hostages

The EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, has called for the release of two French journalists being held hostage in Iraq.

"I have conveyed all my solidarity and my full support to the French authorities who are at this very moment making all necessary efforts to obtain the release of Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot", Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, said in a statement. The two journalists, who work for Radio France Internationale and Le Figaro newspaper respectively, were taken hostage on Aug. 28 by a group calling itself the Islamic Army in Iraq. The kidnappers issued a 48-hour deadline to the French government demanding that it lift its ban on the wearing of Muslim headscarves in French schools. This deadline has been extended by 24 hours, Arabic TV station al-Jazeera reported. The French government has refused to accede to the kidnappers' demands. (EUobserver.com)

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