Former hostage US marineen route to Germany

9th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

9 July 2004 , BEIRUT - Marine Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun has departed the Lebanese capital en route to a US military airbase in Germany, a Lebanese security official said Friday. US embassy officials in Beirut had said Thursday that Hassoun was in their custody after he reportedly had been held hostage for more than two weeks by Islamic militants in Iraq. A flight bearing Hassoun left Beirut International airport in the afternoon and was expected to land in Germany in early evening, the security source sa

9 July 2004

BEIRUT - Marine Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun has departed the Lebanese capital en route to a US military airbase in Germany, a Lebanese security official said Friday.

US embassy officials in Beirut had said Thursday that Hassoun was in their custody after he reportedly had been held hostage for more than two weeks by Islamic militants in Iraq.

A flight bearing Hassoun left Beirut International airport in the afternoon and was expected to land in Germany in early evening, the security source said. The destination was not divulged.

Lebanese officials said Hassoun, escorted to the plane by American security agents, appeared calm and was dressed in civilian clothes.

His brother Sami told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that he, his mother and sister had met briefly with Hassoun at the U.S. embassy on Thursday night.

"He appeared in good shape but a bit nervous," Sami said.

US authorities reportedly have doubts about the 24-year-old serviceman's story. Hassoun is of Lebanese extraction, and had his status changed to captured by the US military on 28 June.

In the days following his disappearance from a US base in Iraq, Hassoun was listed as missing. There were reports that he left voluntarily, and that the marines were considering him as absent without leave. He had last been seen on 19 June, and failed to show up for duty on 20 June.

DPA

Subject: German news

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