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NEWS RELEASE
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
7115 South Boundary Boulevard
MacDill AFB, Fla. 33621-5101
Phone: (813) 827-5894; FAX: (813) 827-2211; DSN 651-5894

March 10, 2004
Release Number: 04-03-26


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


COALITION DETAINEE DIES IN CUSTODY

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Palestinian terrorist Abu Abbas, also known as Mohammed Abbas, died on March 8, 2004.

Initial reports indicate that he died of natural causes. Efforts by medical personnel to revive him were unsuccessful. An autopsy will be performed.

U.S. forces have held Abbas since he was captured in Baghdad on April 14, 2003. For many years, Saddam Hussein provided a safe haven for Abbas and the terrorist organization he led, the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

Abbas planned the 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise liner, the Achille Lauro, in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. During the course of that hijacking, a wheelchair-bound American citizen, Leon Klinghoffer, was murdered.

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