Lebanon Approves Libyan Plan to Pay Ransom to Filipino Kidnappers
Prime Minister Salim Hoss said Sunday that Lebanon had accepted a Libyan proposal to pay a ransom to free a Lebanese woman who is being held with 11 other westerners by Muslim separatists in the Philippines.
The offer to pay the one million dollar ransom demanded for Marie Michele Moarbes' freedom by the Abu Sayyaf rebels was made by Seif al-Islam Kadhafi, one of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's sons, Hoss told reporters.
Moarbes, who is Lebanese but lives in France, was taken hostage April 23 in Malaysia and is being held in Jolo, a southern island of the Philippines.
Abu Sayyaf said after kidnapping the tourists that it was fighting for an independent Islamist state and made political demands for the hostages' release, but the group later switched to more mundane financial demands.
The rebels have demanded one million dollars for each of the hostages, according to those close to the negotiations.
The liberal-leaning Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar launched a campaign on Friday to raise the ransom money among readers and started the collection with a 10,000-dollar donation - BEIRUT (AFP)
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