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04/14/2005

Unhappy anniversary

Kidnapping_video

The kidnapping of Jeffrey Ake in al Taji on Monday bears an uncanny resemblance to another foreign businessman's kidnapping in the same city, almost exactly one year ago.

COPENHAGEN (AFP) - A Danish businessman kidnapped in Iraq last week has been found dead, the Danish foreign ministry said.

The man was captured by unidentified attackers while travelling with an Iraqi driver and a Dane of Iraqi origin on a road near the village of al Taji outside Baghdad. The two others were not taken hostage.

"The ministry was informed overnight by coalition authorities that the Danish national was found dead by Iraqi police on April 12, 2004," a foreign ministry statement said.

It said the Danish government had no further details about the man's death nor information about his killers.

"The Iraqi police investigation has been rendered difficult by the situation in Iraq," it said.

Danish daily Politiken identified the man as 35-year-old Henrik Frandsen, who was in Iraq to start a water purification and electrical appliance store in the southern city of Basra.

Ake, too, had been employed in conjunction with a water purification project (though in al Taji rather than Basra).

Frandsen was the first hostage to be murdered while in captivity in Iraq—on April 12, 2004. Given that fact, I don't have much confidence we'll get Ake back alive.

UPDATE: Dr. Rusty Shackleford has loads of information on the Ake kidnapping.

Posted by Rodger on April 14, 2005 at 06:26 PM | Permalink

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