Abu Nidal's Palestinian terrorist group said Saturday it will release two French girls held hostage with six adults for more than a year in response to an appeal from Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi.
A statement issued by Abu Nidal's Fatah-Revolutionary Council faction said the girls to be released are the daughters of French hostage Jacqueline Valente - Marie-Laure, 7, and Virginie, 6.The statement set no date for their release. But the group's spokesman, Walid Khaled, told The Associated Press the two girls were to be freed within 24 hours.
Valente, her daughters and five Belgians kidnapped with her have been called the "forgotten hostages" by the French media, since they are not among the 15 hostages most commonly cited in press reports. Valente gave birth to a third daughter in captivity.
The French and Belgians have been held for more than a year by Fatah-Revolutionary Council, a radical guerrilla group led by Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal.
Khaled, also known as Sabry Banna, has said the French and Belgian hostages were taken from a yacht as it was sailing in the Mediterranean off the coast of the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip. He said they were spies for Israel, which their relatives deny.
Abu Nidal is widely believed to have organized the December 1985 attacks at the Rome and Vienna airports in which 16 people were killed.