Iraq's top Sunni Muslim scholars confidentFrench journalists safe

24th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

BAGHDAD, Aug 23 (AFP) - Iraq's Committee of senior Sunni Muslim scholars said Monday it was confident no harm would come to two missing French journalists, even if they had been kidnapped by the mujahedeen or militiamen.

BAGHDAD, Aug 23 (AFP) - Iraq's Committee of senior Sunni Muslim scholars said Monday it was confident no harm would come to two missing French journalists, even if they had been kidnapped by the mujahedeen or militiamen.

"France has a more honourable stance towards the resistance than the Iraqi government and considerable influence in Europe. For that reason I don't believe they will come to any harm if they've been taken by the mujahedeen," Sheikh Abdel Salam al-Kubeisi said.

Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot, last seen in Baghdad on Friday, are thought to have been kidnapped on their way to Najaf, where Shiite Muslim militiamen are fighting US-led Iraqi government troops.

"The Mehdi Army, which is fighting the Americans, is very tensed-up and thinks the whole world is a spy, so that's why they'll be released," he added.

"There weren't any kidnappings in the south before this. What is happening is exceptional. Armed groups who are fighting against the occupation are under pressure from their enemies.

"If it's for security reasons, and that's what I believe, it's just a matter of time until they are released," he added.

The Baghdad to Najaf road passes through numerous Sunni Muslim hotspots, such as Mahmudiya, Latifiya and Iskandaria, where foreigners have been kidnapped and killed, and Iraqi police are the target of frequent insurgency attacks.

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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