US holds three French militants in Iraq

4th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 4 (AFP) - Three French nationals are being held by the US authorities in Iraq after being captured in last year's offensive against Islamic insurgents in Fallujah, Le Figaro newspaper reported Friday.

PARIS, Feb 4 (AFP) - Three French nationals are being held by the US authorities in Iraq after being captured in last year's offensive against Islamic insurgents in Fallujah, Le Figaro newspaper reported Friday.

The newspaper named two of the men as Chekou Diakhabi, 19, and Peter Cherif, 22, both of them from the same neighbourhood of Paris where last week French intelligence agents made a series of arrests of suspected Islamic militants.

The pair left Paris for Iraq early in 2004 with several others allegedly recruited by the group's spiritual leader Farid Benyettou, 23, who was one of the 11 people detained last week, the paper reported.

The name of the third man held in Iraq was not known.

In Baghdad the Iraqi human rights ministry later confirmed that three French nationals - whom it did not name - are in US custody. The foreign ministry in Paris said it was looking into the reports.

Three other suspected members of the so-called "Buttes-Chaumont group" - named after an area of the capital's 19th district - were killed in or near Fallujah last year, Le Figaro said. Another is being held in Syria after being stopped trying to cross to Iraq.

The fate of the three French nationals was likely to be brought up in discussions on Tuesday with the visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article