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Hizbollah says talks yet to begin on Israel captives

Written by: Staff
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BEIRUT, Sep 12 (Reuters) A U N envoy appointed to assist in the release of two Israeli soldiers seized by Hizbollah has yet to contact the Lebanese guerrilla group, its deputy chief Sheikh Naim Kassem said today.

Kassem told Reuters that negotiations for the release of the Israeli captives, whom Hizbollah wants to swap for Lebanese in Israeli jails, had yet to be launched almost a month after the end of a 34-day war sparked by their capture.

''We heard through the media that the U N secretary-general appointed a person for the prisoner negotiations but nothing has begun yet in practice,'' he said. ''Matters are still at the start and this operation has yet to be launched in practice.'' The United Nations said on Sunday it had appointed a ''facilitator'' who had begun working on trying to secure the releases.

REUTERS SAM BS1737

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