The children of a French hostage being held in Iraq have made a televised plea for his release. Isabelle, the daughter of Bernard Planche, said her father’s mission was to “help the Iraqi people rebuild their country.” She added: “We hope that you will not harm him. Please let him go. He’s my father and I love him.” Bernard Planche is an engineer who works for an NGO that specialises in water distribution. He was kidnapped on 5th December from his home in Baghdad.A leading Iraqi Sunni cleric has called for his release, also condemning the abduction of a Jordanian driver 10 days ago. In Paris, top Muslim community leader Dalil Boubakeur has also demanded Planche be set free. “We very much hope a precedent won’t be set with French citizens being held captive in Muslim lands and their lives threatened or even taken away,” he said. There are around 50 foreign hostages in Iraq. There has been no recent news of the Christian peace activists kidnapped earlier this month.
Family of French engineer held in Iraq appeal for his release