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Resolution of Iraq hostage crisis in sight
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 28
The incarceration of seven hostages in Iraq, including three Indians, is expected to end very soon as serious hopes have been kindled of their imminent release, top sources here told The Tribune this evening.

Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed, who heads the Crisis Management Group on the hostage crisis, cut short his Colombo visit and reached here this evening. Mr Ahamed was scheduled to come back from Colombo, where he had gone to attend an international conference, on August 30 only.

The Minister has scheduled a meeting of senior officials in his office tomorrow morning which may be followed by a CMG meeting, sources said.

"Since the Iraq hostage crisis erupted on July 21, we have seen light at the end of the tunnel at least thrice. But each time it proved to be a mirage. For the first time, we are getting indications that we will get through to a fruitful end," a key official said.

The hostage-takers as well as M/s KGL, the employer firm of the seven hostages, have worked out respective terms and found a total common ground, sources said.

Sources said the captors' response to KGL was still awaited and everything else would depend on this response. The hostage-takers are expected to announce their response through Al-Arabiya channel either later tonight or tomorrow.

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