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Deal close to free British hostages in Iraq - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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BAGHDAD (AP) – An Arabic Web site says a deal is in the works for the release of five British hostages in Iraq and that one of them could be freed “very soon.”

The Saudi-owned site Elaph quotes a leader of the extremist Asaib Ahl al-Haq group as saying a video recently sent to the British embassy showing one of the hostages is part of the deal.

The report quotes a mediator identified only as Abu Ali. A senior aide to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki acknowledged Saturday that contacts are under way to release the Britons, but denied a deal had been struck. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

A senior Shiite lawmaker says the contacts picked up pace two months ago.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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