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Hostage News

Russia helps secure Syria's release of US detainee

Washington - Russia secured the release of a US citizen detained in war-torn Syria and has handed him over to American authorities, Moscow's foreign ministry said Friday.

London facing hostage crisis

London - Earlier this evening, armed police gathered outside Bella Italia restaurant in response to a hostage crisis unfolding in the center of London. The issue has been resolved and no injuries reported. Below are the details as it happened.

Qaeda affiliate hands over body of executed Lebanon soldier

Birut - Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate on Tuesday handed Lebanese authorities the body of a soldier it executed last year, in the first stage of a delicate hostage exchange deal, authorities said.

US-Iraqi forces free 70 captives facing IS 'mass execution'

Washington - Kurdish and US forces stormed an Islamic State prison in northern Iraq, freeing some 70 captives who were facing imminent execution, the Pentagon said.

Pentagon confirms 70 hostages freed in Iraq rescue mission

Washington - A US-backed rescue operation freed 70 hostages from an Islamic State prison in Iraq and captured five militants, the Pentagon said Thursday, confirming that a US service member was killed.

U.S. serviceman killed rescuing hostages from IS in Iraq: U.S. official    

Washington - A US serviceman has been killed in an operation to rescue hostages from Islamic State militants in Iraq, a US official told AFP Thursday.

French prison official freed after hostage drama

Lille - The deputy governor of a high-security prison in northern France was taken hostage by a "particularly dangerous inmate" Wednesday but was later released unharmed, officials said.

Croatian hostage handed over to IS by 'bandits': minister

Zagreb - A Croatian hostage whom the Islamic State group claims to have beheaded is thought to have been kidnapped by a criminal gang in Egypt before being turned over to the jihadists, Croatia's foreign minister said Thursday.

Croatian victim of IS beheading 'football-mad family man'

- Tomislav Salopek, whom the Islamic State group claimed Wednesday to have beheaded in Egypt, was among thousands of Croats who left the crisis-hit Balkans state to pursue opportunities abroad.

Croatia PM cannot confirm death of IS hostage but fears worst

Zagreb - Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said Wednesday he was unable to confirm the death of a Croatian hostage that the Islamic State group claimed to have beheaded, but that he feared the worst.

IS says it has beheaded Croatian hostage in Egypt  

Cairo - The Islamic State group said Wednesday it has beheaded a Croatian hostage, and released a picture of a body after what would be the first such killing of a Westerner in Egypt.

Obama admits government let down hostage families

Washington - US President Barack Obama admitted his government had not always done enough to stop the "unrelenting nightmare" faced by relatives of hostages held abroad, as he eased restrictions on talking with captors.

Mother held hostage uses online pizza order to get help

Avon Park - A woman in central Florida said she and her children were being held hostage, so she sent a secret message asking for help via an online pizza order.

Pakistan says botched strike highlights dangers of US drone war

Islamabad - Pakistan said Friday the botched US drone attack that killed two foreign hostages showed the risks of the controversial tactic, as details came to light apparently pinpointing the fatal strike.

Obama takes blame for strike that killed hostages

Washington - President Barack Obama said he took "full responsibility" on Thursday for the accidental killing of an American and Italian hostage during an apparent drone strike on an Al-Qaeda compound in Pakistan.

Sydneysiders queue for reopening of siege cafe

Sydney - The Sydney cafe where a gunman inspired by the Islamic State group staged a bloody 16-hour siege reopened Friday, with scores queuing to enter the site where two hostages died.

System let us down with Sydney siege 'monster': PM

Sydney - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott admitted Sunday "the system" had let the public down by failing to protect it from the "monster" who carried out a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe.

Sydney siege survivors tell of terror at hands of gunman

Sydney - Survivors of a 16-hour siege in a Sydney cafe on Sunday told of their terror during the deadly standoff, as a jihadist gunman threatened to kill people "one by one".

No evidence 'at this time' to confirm IS hostage claim: U.S.

Washington - The United States said Friday that it has not yet seen any proof to confirm a claim by the Islamic State group that a female American hostage has been killed in an air strike in Syria by a Jordanian plane.

Murdered Japanese journalist's peace tweet goes viral

Toukyo - A poignant tweet by murdered journalist Kenji Goto on the virtue of being calm was spreading rapidly on social media Tuesday, days after he was apparently beheaded by Islamist militants."Close your eyes and remain patient.

Hostage crisis poses stark test for pacifist Japan

Toukyo - The apparent beheading of two Japanese hostages by Islamic State militants poses a stark diplomatic test for pacifist Japan, underscoring how Tokyo's image as a benign aid donor offers no immunity from violence, analysts say.

Japan condemns 'despicable' IS hostage beheading claim

Toukyo - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday denounced as "heinous and despicable" the apparent beheading of a second Japanese hostage by the Islamic State group, as global leaders denounced the jihadists.

IS claims beheading of second Japanese captive

Toukyo - The Islamic State group claimed in a video that it has beheaded a second Japanese hostage, drawing international condemnation and outrage from a visibly upset Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who denounced it as a "heinous and despicable" act.

Japan says hostage negotiations 'deadlocked'

Toukyo - Japan's deputy foreign minister has said negotiations with the Islamic State group threatening to execute a Jordanian pilot and a Japanese journalist have become "deadlocked", local media reported Saturday.

Jordan demands proof pilot alive as IS deadline passes

Amman - Jordan demanded proof Thursday that a pilot threatened with execution by the Islamic State group was alive, as a deadline set by the jihadists to free a female militant expired.

Police gunfire killed Sydney siege victim: inquest

Sydney - Ricochets from police gunfire killed one of the two hostages who died in a 16-hour siege at a central Sydney cafe in December, an inquest into the deadly stand-off heard on Thursday.

Anxious wait as Jordan offers to exchange jihadist for pilot

Amman - Jordan offered Wednesday to exchange a female jihadist for a Jordanian pilot held by the Islamic State group, whose deadline for executing the airman and a Japanese journalist is thought to have passed.

Hostage parents make anguished pleas as IS deadline nears

Toukyo - The parents of a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian airman held by Islamic State militants made last-ditch pleas for their lives as a deadline for an exchange with a jihadi bomber neared Wednesday.

IS threatens to kill Japan hostage, Jordan pilot within 24 hours

Birut - The Islamic State jihadist group threatened Tuesday to kill a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian pilot within 24 hours unless Amman frees a jailed female militant.

IS claims it executed Japanese hostage

Birut - The Islamic State group has said it executed one of two Japanese hostages it has been holding, in an apparent beheading that has been slammed by leaders around the world.
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Manila police surround a bus  where a former police officer took hostages and demanded his job back
Manila police surround a bus, where a former police officer took hostages and demanded his job back
Video screenshot
First facebook posting after Klein Michael Thaxton took a man hostage in a downtown Pittsburgh high ...
First facebook posting after Klein Michael Thaxton took a man hostage in a downtown Pittsburgh high rise.
Screen Capture
Facebook post by Thaxton during standoff
Facebook post by Thaxton during standoff
Screen Capture
Klein Michael Thaxton
Klein Michael Thaxton
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Photos of former FBI agent Robert Levison  held hostage since being kidnapped in Iran in 2007.
Photos of former FBI agent Robert Levison, held hostage since being kidnapped in Iran in 2007.
Screen Capture