Kadhafi Offers $25m for Hostages in Philippines
Libyan leader Moammar Kadhafi has reportedly offered to pay at least $25 million to release hostages held in the Philippines and has made freeing Lebanese national, Mary Michel Moarbes who lives in France his top priority, the Daily Star reported Saturday.
Kadhafi's son Seif al-Islam, heads the International Kadhafi Association for Charity Organizations and directed an official with the organization, Moammed Ismail, to pay to release the 29 hostages, added the daily.
Sources revealed that Ismail was given $25 million to deliver to the Islamic group Abu Sayyaf in exchange for the hostages. Abu Sayyaf has demanded at least $1 million for each Western hostage.
According to the daily, Abu Sayyaf was reportedly fighting for an independent Islamic state on the Philippine Island of Jolo where the hostages were taken from Malaysia. The group originally made political demands for their release but later requested $1 million for each Western hostage.
Ismail assured Lebanese Ministry officials in Tokyo that his country was "completely" ready to pay the ransom and that Libya's top priority was for Moarbes to be released.
Moarbes was among a group of 21 tourists and workers abducted from a Malaysian diving island on April 23rd. Thirteen have been released, but Abu Sayyaf picked up more hostages, including news crews and a Christian group, since its original kidnappings, the daily said – Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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