ALGIERS — Gunmen used one of two sisters from Kuwait's ruling family to appeal from a hijacked jumbo jet today for the release of 17 Arabs jailed in the Persian Gulf emirate.
Anwar Khaled al Sabah said in a message radioed in Arabic that she and her sister are well but that her brother is in poor health after 15 days in captivity on the Kuwait Airways Boeing 747.
Speaking in a strong voice in marked contrast to the terrified mumbling of her brother when he was forced to make a similar appeal on Monday, the woman said:
"I would like to send greetings, of course, to the family, my mother and father and everybody and I would like to reassure them that I, my brother and sister and passengers are well, thank God," she said.
"But the mental state is very poor, and my brother Fadel of course is in very poor health," she added.
"I would like to ask the Kuwaiti government to get a move on for us and release the prisoners and solve the problem or all our lives are in danger. Thank you." she said.
Her voice showed no sign of strain from her long ordeal on the plane, seized on a flight from Bangkok to Kuwait on April 5.
Immediately after the message, an Algerian official told the hijackers that their afternoon delivery of newspapers was ready.
"We have the evening newspapers for you," the official said.
"Thank you, sir," came the polite reply.