Raffarin coy on status of missing Iraq reporter

1st February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 1 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said Tuesday that Paris was doing all it could to find a reporter who has been missing in Iraq for nearly a month, calling her situation "markedly different" from a past hostage crisis.

PARIS, Feb 1 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said Tuesday that Paris was doing all it could to find a reporter who has been missing in Iraq for nearly a month, calling her situation "markedly different" from a past hostage crisis.

Florence Aubenas, a 43-year-old senior correspondent for the left-leaning newspaper Liberation, and her Iraqi translator Hussein Hanun al-Saadi have not been seen or heard from since they left her Baghdad hotel on January 5.

"The information that we've gathered leads us to believe that we're in a situation that is markedly different from what happened with Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot," Raffarin told the lower-house National Assembly.

"I can't say anything more, in order to preserve the safety" of the missing duo, Raffarin added.

"Their disappearance is a daily concern for the head of state, for the government and for all the state services concerned," the prime minister said.

"We're doing all that has to be done so that they can come back to us very soon," Raffarin insisted, saying crisis cells were working on the case in both Paris and Baghdad.

Chesnot, a correspondent for Radio France, and Malbrunot, who works for Le Figaro newspaper, were released by insurgents in Iraq on December 21 after four months in captivity.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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