US hostage could be spared


Thomas Hamill
Thomas Hamill was paraded in front of the Iraqi flag

Dulaimi, who heads an Iraqi human rights group, said the affair of the missing American had been settled, and he was in good health.

Dulaimi said that the US hostage had received medical attention.

However there was no immediate word on when he might be released.

The trio – volunteer workers Noriaki Imai, 18, and Nahoko Takato, 34, and 32-year-old photojournalist Soichiro Koriyamatwo – were abducted last week and are believed held in Fallujah, the battered Sunni Muslim stronghold west of Baghdad.

Washington welcomed Tokyo’s decision to keep the troops in Iraq despite the threats and on Friday the US State Department said it was actively working with the Japanese government to locate the hostages.