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Iraqi Captors of French Journalists Extend Deadline By 24 Hours - 2004-08-30


Arabic-language television network al-Jazeera says Islamic militants who kidnapped two French journalists in Iraq havemextended by 24 hours the deadline for France to revoke a ban on Islamic headscarves in its public schools.

In a videotape broadcast by al-Jazeera on Monday, the original deadline, the reporters said they may be killed unless their government rescinds a ban on Islamic headscarves in French state schools.

French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier has traveled to the Middle East to secure the release of the two journalists, whom a group called the "Islamic Army in Iraq" captured 10 days ago.

But the French government says it will not bow to kidnapper demands that Paris lift its ban on Islamic headscarves in state schools.

Information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.

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