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Hostages All Freed in Mali Hotel Siege: Reports

But security forces still said to be trying to 'dislodge' gunmen

(Newser) - The hostage crisis at a luxury hotel in Mali's capital appears to be over, according to various reports, but not before dozens of people are said to have perished in the attack. Security sources tell Reuters that Malian commandos stormed the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako after 170 hostages... More »

Gunmen Have Dozens of Hostages at Mali Hotel

Security forces have freed some of them

(Newser) - Men shouting "God is great" and armed with guns and throwing grenades stormed into the Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali's capital Friday morning and initially seized 170 hostages. "They have locked in about 140 guests and about 30 employees," a rep for the company that owns... More »

China to ISIS: You'll Pay for 'Violent' Killing of Hostage

Beijing condemns 'cold-blooded' murder of national Fan Jinghui, Norway man

(Newser) - Beijing says it will punish ISIS militants after the group claimed in its Dabiq magazine that it had executed Chinese national Fan Jinghui , as well as Norway's Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad, CNN reports. Dabiq says the two hostages, which ISIS put up "for sale" in September for ransom, were... More »

US Hostages' Savior in Iran in 1980 Has Died

Heroic actions of Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor were documented in 'Argo'

(Newser) - Ken Taylor, the Canadian ambassador to Iran who helped smuggle six American hostages home from the country in 1980, died Thursday of colon cancer at the age of 81, his wife tells the AP . For three months, Taylor and his deputy, John Sheardown, hid at their Tehran homes the six... More »

Unnamed American Hostage Still in Yemen

English teacher, 35, still in custody of Shiite Houthi rebels

(Newser) - Despite early reports that three US hostages were freed in Yemen yesterday, authorities now say just two have arrived in Oman, which negotiated their release. Shiite Houthi rebels chose to keep a third US hostage in custody; he's identified only as a 35-year-old Muslim convert who had been in... More »

Yemen Rebels Free US Hostages

Identities aren't released

(Newser) - Yemen's Shiite Houthi rebels today released three Americans and three other foreign hostages, say Houthi officials and authorities at the airport in Sanaa. Their identities weren't made public, nor were details about their detention. But at least one of them is a journalist, whom Houthi offiicals said "... More »

Teen Took 29 Students, Teacher Hostage in WV

Police chief talked 14-year-old boy into surrendering

(Newser) - A 14-year-old boy held 29 students and a teacher at gunpoint in a West Virginia high school classroom yesterday afternoon before he released them after negotiations and surrendered, authorities say. No injuries were reported. The student took a pistol into a second-floor classroom at Philip Barbour High School, police say.... More »

Bank Robbers May Have Sinister New Scheme

For second time, an employee's family is abducted in Tennessee

(Newser) - An unusual bank robbery took place in Knoxville, Tennessee, yesterday, in which the robbers took the family of a bank employee hostage first, reports ABC News . More troubling: Pretty much the same thing happened in the same area in April. “There are very strong similarities between the two robberies,... More »

US: We Won't Prosecute Families for Paying Ransom

Review of policy comes after criticism from relatives of slain ISIS captives

(Newser) - The Obama administration will tell families of Americans held by terror groups that they can communicate with captors and even pay ransom without fear of prosecution—part of a broad review of US hostage guidelines that will be released tomorrow. President Obama ordered the review last fall after the deaths... More »

ISIS Releases 19 Syrian Christians

Unclear why; all are 50 or older

(Newser) - The Islamic State group released at least 19 Christians today who were among the more than 220 people the militants took captive in northeastern Syria last week, activists and a local leader said. The news provided a modicum of relief to a Christian Assyrian community that has been devastated by... More »

Report: US Sat on Info About Hostages' Location

Daily Beast says US waited a month to act on British intelligence

(Newser) - A few weeks after the US staged a failed rescue mission last July to retrieve ISIS hostages Kayla Mueller , James Foley , and Steven Sotloff , the Muslim insurgents started sending out a gruesome chain of beheading videos. Now US and UK officials are saying that the hostages had been moved just... More »

Clock Ticking, Japan Races to Save ISIS Hostages

Gov't says it's working to free Kenji Goto, Haruna Yukawa as ISIS deadline looms

(Newser) - On Tuesday, ISIS gave Japan 72 hours to pay $200 million in ransom to save the lives of freelance journalist Kenji Goto and self-employed contractor Haruna Yukawa—a demand that Yoshihide Suga, the country's chief Cabinet secretary, said yesterday the country wasn't going to meet . Now, with the... More »

ISIS Hostages: A Loner, and a Journalist Who Tried to Save Him

Kenji Goto, Haruna Yukawa caught in crosshairs as Japan, ISIS face off

(Newser) - The two men are seemingly bound only by three things: Their Japanese nationality, what Reuters calls an "unlikely friendship," and the series of events that led them to their knees in the desert, clad in orange jumpsuits, as a familiar black-clad ISIS fighter said they would die if... More »

Italian Aid Workers Freed in Syria

Sources say huge ransom was paid to Nusra Front

(Newser) - Two young Italian aid workers kidnapped in Syria last year and seen pleading for their lives in a video recently released by their captors are free and arrived back in their homeland today, Italian authorities say. The country's foreign ministry says Vanessa Marzullo, 21, and Greta Ramelli, 20, who... More »

Sydney Gunman Was Facing Sex Assault Charges

Man Haron Monis also charged as accessory in ex-wife's murder

(Newser) - The man behind a hostage situation just ended at a Sydney chocolate cafe has been identified as Man Haron Monis, who calls himself a cleric and was already in serious trouble with the law. Monis, 50, has previously been charged as an accessory to his ex-wife's murder. And after... More »

ISIS Wants $1M for Body of James Foley

Islamic State now trying to ransom his remains

(Newser) - The Islamic State couldn't get a ransom for James Foley while he was alive, but now the group wants to collect one for his remains, reports BuzzFeed . The website quotes three sources as saying that ISIS will turn over the American journalist's body for $1 million and provide... More »

US Hostage's Mom Tries to Reach ISIS via Twitter

'How can we reach you?' mother of Abdul-Rahman Kassig asks militants

(Newser) - Abdul-Rahman Kassig's family has already released a letter from him in which he said he was "scared to die" and posted a series of YouTube videos begging for his freedom from his ISIS captors. Now mom Paula Kassig has taken to Twitter to directly address "Caliph Abu... More »

ISIS Frees 49 Hostages From Turkey

They were held in Iraq, and it's not known what deal Turkish officials struck

(Newser) - Dozens of Turkish hostages seized by Islamic militants in Iraq three months ago were freed and safely returned to Turkey today, ending the nation's most serious hostage crisis. The 49 hostages were captured from the Turkish Consulate in Mosul, Iraq, on June 11, when ISIS overran the city in... More »

ISIS Waterboarded Hostages

American James Foley was among them, reports Washington Post

(Newser) - James Foley and at least three other hostages held by the Islamic State were waterboarded multiple times during captivity, reports the Washington Post . The newspaper quotes anonymous sources for the scoop, and says the ISIS militants "appeared to model" the infamous technique —labeled as torture by President Obama—... More »

All 7 Hostages Free, Safe in 20-Hour Chicago Ordeal

2 suspects arrested; officers treated for wounds

(Newser) - All of the hostages who were being held at a home near Chicago in a standoff that started early yesterday afternoon have been rescued, NBC Chicago reports. Four children had been released last night, and the two remaining children and an adult woman were found safe this morning after police... More »

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