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France's Hostage Crisis Turns Election Into Emotional Test of Socialists' Rule
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Meisler, Stanley
Date: Mar 13, 1986
Start Page: 4
Section: 1; Foreign Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

In the televised interview from Beirut after Islamic Jihad released a photo of the body of Seurat, an anguished Mary Seurat said: "I accuse Monsieur Joxe of the responsibility for the execution, the murder of my husband. Hezbollah (a Shia political organization that is believed to use the name Islamic Jihad at times) has executed my husband. Monsieur [Pierre Joxe] had him killed."

Since March, 1984, there have been 17 kidnapings of foreigners in Beirut. Responsibility for most of them has been claimed by Islamic Jihad. The victims are eight Frenchmen, six Americans, one Italian, one Briton and one South Korean. Islamic Jihad has announced the execution of two of them, American diplomat William Buckley and Seurat, the French researcher, but neither body has turned up.

The French government has been faced with an ultimatum from Islamic Jihad threatening more executions by election day. In addition to the release of the two Iraqis, it has demanded that the French free a group of Iranians convicted of murdering a policeman and a woman bystander in an attempted assassination of former Iranian Prime Minister Shahpour Bakhtiar. Islamic Jihad also has demanded that France change its policy of selling arms to Iraq.

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