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Iraq Hostages: 40 Foreigners from 12 Countries Held Captive by Iraqi Insurgents - 2004-04-13


The U.S.-led coalition in Iraq says insurgents are currently holding about 40 foreigners from 12 countries in captivity.

But U.S. spokesman Dan Senor says the coalition will not negotiate with abductors for release of the hostages.

Mr. Senor spoke in Baghdad today (Tuesday) -- hours after an insurgent group holding four Italians demanded that Italy withdraw its troops from Iraq.

Italy confirmed the abductions as Arabic television aired footage of four captive men who spoke Italian on the tape.

Earlier, eight employees of a Russian company working in Iraq were released after they were kidnapped Monday by gunmen in Baghdad.

There is no new word on the whereabouts or condition of three kidnapped Japanese civilians who were supposed to be freed Sunday.

Separately, three Czech journalists were abducted Sunday, and nine Americans -- two soldiers and seven contractors -- vanished Friday.

Seven Chinese nationals seized Sunday in Fallujah have been freed by their captors.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reurters.

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