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Jordanian released, Lebanese seized

A captured Jordanian national working for an Amman-based bank has been freed, amid reports that a Lebanese driver was seized by a purported Iraqi group.

Last Modified: 17 Aug 2004 15:19 GMT
Most Arab nationals taken captive have been set free

A captured Jordanian national working for an Amman-based bank has been freed, amid reports that a Lebanese driver was seized by a purported Iraqi group.

"I was abducted by Iraqi armed men in Baghdad and was later transferred to Karbala city," Samir Taaim Allah Husayn Taaim Allah, 35, told Aljazeera.

"I don't think they are affiliated with any political party. I think they are from Karbala city," he added, saying he believed they were only interested in procuring money.

According to AFP, Taaim Allah's family was asked for a $170,000 ransom.

Karbala Governor Saad Sfuq said Iraqi police were tipped off kidnappers were holding the Jordanian in the village of Um-Ruyah, just east of the capital.

 

Karbala's police chief confirmed to Aljazeera two of the captors were arrested while the other three fled during the police raid before Taaim Allah was brought to a police station in Karbala.

 

"I was so surprised to have been released, but thank God it happened," Taaim Allah told AFP.

 

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A Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesman in Amman said they first heard of his capture earlier on Tuesday from Taaim Allah's family in Jordan.

Transport trucks have come under
repeated attacks in Iraq

"His relatives said they received a call from Karbala to say that Samir Taaim Allah Hussain Taaim Allah had been released in Iraq. We had never heard of him being abducted before today," Ali Ayid told AFP.

 

Taaim Allah's mother told AFP her son, a father of two, travelled to Iraq two weeks ago without informing his family.

 

"He was working as an agent for his cousin, a car dealer in Germany, and clients in Karbala although he is an employee at the Arab Bank in Amman," Jaziya Taaim Allah said in a telephone interview.

 

"Had I known he was going to Iraq, I would have stopped him," she said. "This morning the governor of Karbala telephoned me that he had been released and that he would be sent to the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad ahead of his return home."

 

Another Jordanian businessman, Jamal Sadik al-Salayma, who was taken from his Baghdad home on 9 August, was freed within days. It was not clear if a $250,000 ransom demand was met for Salayma, who worked for an Iraqi firm selling Korean tyres.

Lebanese seized

Meanwhile, the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC) satellite aired a videotape depicting a man - identified as Muhammad Raad - kneeling and holding an identity card surrounded by men with guns.

The channel said armed fighters had threatened to kill him if the company he worked for did not pull out of Iraq in 72 hours.

LBC said he worked for a Lebanese engineering firm and his kidnappers belonged to a group calling itself The Islamic Movement for the Mujahidiin of Iraq.

The television channel interviewed Raad's mother, who said she was not aware her son was working in Iraq and thought he had gone there for a cousin's engagement party.

Several Lebanese nationals have been captured in Iraq. In June, one Lebanese who had been captured by armed fighters was killed, but all the others have been released.

Source:
Aljazeera + Agencies
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