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Think tank refutes report about another Iraq abduction

So far, little evidence has emerged to support today's Toronto Star report that a hostage negotiator was abducted in Iraq after making contact with the kidnappers of Sault Ste.
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JamesLoney55

So far, little evidence has emerged to support today's Toronto Star report that a hostage negotiator was abducted in Iraq after making contact with the kidnappers of Sault Ste. Marie's James Loney and three fellow members of Christian Peacemaker Teams.

The Star story, attributed to an anonymous source, doesn't name the negotiator and provides few other details about the alleged new abduction.

The Star did disclose, however, that it believes the negotiator was an Iraqi who "had worked in the past on other high-profile kidnappings."

Oddly, the Star's online edition provides conflicting information about the authorship of today's article.

The byline on the article gives sole credit to Toronto-based reporter Michelle Shepherd.

But another page on the paper's website includes the piece in a listing of recent articles by Mitch Potter of the Star's Middle East bureau.

Liberal MP Dan McTeague, parliamentary secretary responsible for Canadians abroad, told the paper that he's heard nothing about the alleged kidnapping of the Iraqi negotiator.

Meanwhile, the website of the British theological think tank Ekklesia today dismissed the Star report.

"A source close to Ekklesia, which works in partnership with Christian Peacemaker Teams, has confirmed that there is in fact no such hostage negotiator," the group said.

"Other negotiators had indicated that no one had been able to make direct contact with the Swords of Truth Brigades through direct channels."

"Security experts say that Baghdad remains a rumour-mill with much speculation and little hard information."

To read Ekklesia's take on the situation, please click here.

President Bush, meanwhile, announced tonight that he will make a televised address about Iraq on Sunday at 9 p.m. (Eastern Time) from the Oval Office.