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Iraqi Kidnappers Release 2 Indonesian Women  - 2004-10-04

Two Indonesian women held hostage for several days by militants in Iraq have been freed.

The two women were handed over to the United Arab Emirates embassy in Baghdad on Monday.

Their kidnappers had demanded Indonesia release an Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir suspected of terrorist links in exchange for the women. But the jailed cleric condemned the kidnappings and said he would not take part in an exchange.

Also Monday, family members of a kidnapped Iraqi businessman confirmed official reports that he had been killed. The businessman was a longtime resident of Italy who fled Iraq 20 years ago when it was ruled by Saddam Hussein. His kidnappers accused him of being a spy. His family has denied the charge.