Pope appeals for release of Red Cross hostages
MANILA, March 31, 2009— Pope Benedict XVI made a last minute appeal for the release of three Red Cross workers being held hostage by al-Qaida-linked militants.
The Abu Sayyaf group threatened to behead one of their hostages today unless the government troops leave 15 villages in Jolo island.
The Vatican press office yesterday published a communiqué, saying that the Pontiff is concerned for the safety of the three—two Europeans and a Filipino, who were seized January 15.
Swiss national Andreas Notter, Italian Eugenio Vagni and Filipino Mary Jean Lacaba were abducted after they visited a water sanitation project in Sulu provincial jail.