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London's hostage drama goes on

By WITH ANALYSIS FROM MONITOR CORRESPONDENTS AROUND THE WORLD, EDITED BY DEBRA K. PIOT / May 2, 1980



London

A second deadline set Thursday by three gunmen who seized the Iranian Embassy in London April 30, threatening to kill themselves and about 20 hostages, apparently passed without incident. Just before the 2 p.m. deadline, terrorists freed an ailing British hostage to show their "humanity" and said they would not take the lives of the three other non-Iranian hostages -- a British television soundman, a London policeman, and a Lebanese journalist.

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The 2 p.m. ultimatum followed a noon deadline for Iran to enter negotiations for the release of 91 prisoners held by the Iranian government in the Southwestern Province of Khuzestan. In Tehran, the Foreign Ministry said Iran refused to yield to the gunmen's demands and would hold Britain responsible for the safety of the Iranian hostages.