March 31, 1988 |
Western hostages in Lebanon are being held by a single group of professional kidnapers who operate under a number of different labels, a freed French hostage said in a book published Wednesday. "The organization which captures, detains and frees the hostages is made up of some 50 people spread through a dozen hide-outs in houses, flats and basements in the southern suburbs of Beirut," wrote photojournalist Roger Auque.
March 12, 1987 |
Pro-Iranian terrorists today threatened to kill a French hostage and vowed that Syrian troops occupying West Beirut will never succeed in freeing the captives--including two Americans--they are holding. The Revolutionary Justice Organization said it will "execute" Jean Louis Normandin within 48 hours unless the French government issues a "clarification" of "irresponsible" remarks by President Francois Mitterrand.
December 8, 1987 |
Police rounded up dozens of anti-Khomeini Iranians on Monday for possible expulsion. Faction leaders claimed that the sweep was part of a deal with Tehran to free French hostages in Lebanon. The crackdown came 11 days after pro-Iranian kidnapers in Lebanon released two French hostages. At least four other Frenchmen still are held there.
January 15, 1987 |
Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite reported "good progress" Wednesday in his efforts to free American and other foreign hostages in Lebanon and said he was greatly encouraged by the support expressed for his mission. His upbeat remarks came despite his inability earlier Wednesday to win an outright pledge of support from the nation's strongest Shia Muslim militia and despite an announcement from Saudi Arabia that an employee at its embassy was kidnaped in Muslim West Beirut on Monday night.
November 29, 1987 |
Premier Jacques Chirac, welcoming two former hostages home to France from Lebanon, acknowledged Saturday that their release represents an improvement in France's relations with Iran but denied as "a pack of lies" a report that ransom had been paid. The report had appeared only hours earlier in the influential and usually authoritative newspaper, Le Monde. In a front-page story, Le Monde said, "The payment of a ransom contributed to the liberation of the hostages."
December 1, 1987 |
A French diplomat was exchanged for an Iranian interpreter here Monday in a deal to thaw a five-month diplomatic chill between Iran and France. "We are happy," Hossein Kashani, Iran's consul general in the Pakistani capital, told reporters after the two freed men had left separately for their home countries. Paul Torri, French consul in Tehran, and Wahid Gordji, an interpreter at the Iranian Embassy in Paris, had been kept under siege at their respective missions since July.