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Iraq: the more hostages, the closer the end of occupation?

Supporters of a radical Shiite leader Murkad Al-Sadr say they are keeping several Spanish soldiers hostages and “perhaps, one American soldier,” reports Utro.ru.

Based on the latest information, servicemen of the coalition forces have been taken hostages in Iraqi town of Nadjef, located south of Baghdad.

Insurgents plan to exchange the hostages on one of the Shiite leaders—Mustafa Al-Yakubi, who has been arrested April 3 by International coalition forces, reports RBC.

One of the leaders of the insurgents Amar Al-Husseini has already declared the following: “We arrested hostages from the coalition forces; majority of them are Spanish and also, perhaps, one American soldier. We want to exchange them on Mustafa Al-Yakubi.”

The soldiers of the coalition forces have been captured in the town of El-Kufe, which is no longer under the coalition's control. Shiite militants captured administrations buildings, police stations, warehouses and other buildings built by American troops. The buildings are completely looted.

Italian secret services SISMI made public the report containing threats of kidnapping foreign citizens in Iraq. The report of SISMI director Nikkolo Pollari states that those victims can later be as a mean for ransom in order to make occupational coalition forces to leave Iraq.

Many foreign civic officials who are currently in Iraq have nothing to do with governmental affairs, some of them simply work for foreign enterprises that are currently reconstructing Iraq; some of them have been there for a long time already. There are many Russians among them.

Pollari has first talked about possible threat on March 18. Back then he officially declared that foreigners will be kidnapped by Iraqis and use their captives as an instrument to pressure “enemy” nations.

Iraqi people have to be able to decide their future themselves, stated official representative of the Ministry of International Affairs of the Russian Federation Alexander Yakovenko.

He also mentioned that Russia “worries for the degrading situation in Iraq.” “At this point, it is important to stop the spiral of violence and let the Iraqi people decide their future themselves,” said Yakovenko.

“It is of utmost importance to take all the necessary actions to let the Iraqi people acquire sovereignty,” considers he. “And the UN has to play major part in it.”

Russia “supports the idea of creating legitimate government in Iraq,” stated the Ministry's official. According to him, “government’s legitimacy can only be approved by the UN Defense Council on the basis of an existing resolution,” informs ITAR-TASS. “The document also has to outline those conditions that will regulate military presence in Iraq,” added Yakovenko.   

Based on materials of Russian information agencies 

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