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Iraqi abductors put forward new demand
Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi |
July 29, 2004 00:05 IST
The little known Iraqi militant group Black Flags which has abducted three Indians put forward a new demand on Wednesday.
The three Indians -- Antaryami, Tilak Raj and Sukhdev Singh -- are among six people taken hostage by the group.
Sheikh Hesham Al Dulaimi, who had announced himself as a negotiator, said the abductors want an assurance from India in writing that the three Indians are poor people who went to Kuwait in search of jobs and are not working for occupational forces.
The abductors have reportedly insisted that the words 'occupational forces' must be used and not allied or American forces.
Dulaimi also complained that the Government of India has not come forward to talk to him even 24 hours after he has started negotiating with the abductors.
He expressed his displeasure while talking to prominent tribal leader Sheikh Saa'd Al Asadi, who has been brought into the picture by an informal channel working for India.
Saa'd Al Asadi was brought from his village in southern Iraq to Baghdad to help Sheikh Al Dulaimi with the negotiations. After meeting Dulaimi, Asadi has briefed KGL company's representatives.
H S Meiji, an Indian businessman who is living in Iraq since last 25 years told rediff.com: "Sheikh Al Asadi has conveyed the feelings of Al Dulaimi to the KGL company. The kidnappers have demanded that the letter should mention that these Indians are poor people and they landed in Iraq in search for a job and they had no intention of helping occupational forces."
Meiji who is facilitating Al Asadi's visit in Baghdad says the Indians are safe and treated well.
Among other demands, the abductors want KGL to suspend its operations in Iraq.