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Kurds seize hostages to pressure Iraq

Kurdish rebels are holding nine foreigners hostage to push their demands for the release of detainees held by the Iraqi government, diplomatic sources said here. The hostages are four Indians, three Lebanese, a Briton, and an Egyptian who were seized in Iraq's rugged northeast province of Sulaymaniyah late last month, the sources said.

The Unified Kurdistan Socialist Party, in a statement in Beirut, claimed responsibility. It said it demanded release of detainees and an end to what it said was a campaign of executions against Kurds. There was no immediate comment from the Iraqi governme nt.

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