Friday, March 21, 2008

AQIM: Update on the Austrian Hostages

Optimism fading. Talks continue. Hope perseveres for an Easter release.

The optimism of the Austrian Authorities, in terms of releasing the two hostages, Andrea Kloiber and Aolfgang Ebner, seems fading away following the statements being delivered by the Austrian envoy to Mali last Thursday, saying they were likely to be released yesterday, while the Malian President has announced that experts in kidnapping issues are to back up authorities.

Meanwhile, Magharebia is reporting that:

Austria has refused to pay any ransom for the release of two Austrian tourists kidnapped from Tunisia in mid-February, press reports quoted Austrian negotiator Anton Prohaska as saying on Wednesday (March 19th).

The deadline for releasing the Austrians has been extended to Sunday (March 23rd). According to Algerian and Austrian media reports, Libyan leader Muammar Kadhafi is involved in the discussions with the terrorists.
In more encouraging hostage news: Somali pirates release Irish hostages held for 46 days. The hostages are well and unharmed. No word on whether or not a ransom was paid.

And remind me not to go work for CBS. No word from network on kidnapped, anonymous (not if you read Dinah Lord) CBS journalist missing in Iraq for 5 weeks.