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CNN Today

Hijackers Release 3 More Hostages as Negotiators Continue Effort to End Crisis Aboard Afghan Airliner Near London

Aired February 7, 2000 - 2:04 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: There are signs negotiators are making progress in the efforts to end a hijacking crisis aboard an Afghan airliner. The plane remains parked at a runway near London at this hour.

CNN's Chris Burns is at that airport, Stansted Airport, with the latest on this story -- Chris.

CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, what you can see over my shoulder is a bit of lights which are right nearby, near the plane. The plane is completely blacked out, from what we can see from here. In the last few hours, eight hostages have been released, three men, three women and two infants, and the talks go on. Officials say that they have given food and water and other medical supplies to the hostage -- to the plane, and so the talks go on.

This is what officials had to say in the last couple of hours about those talks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BROUGHTON, ASSISTANT CHIEF CONSTABLE: It's positive the fact that we're talking. We must continue to talk. And, as you know, it has been our stated intention right from the beginning of this incident to bring it to a successful and safe conclusion without injury. As long as we continue to talk, I think that's to be regarded as a very positive step forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNS: The thing is, though, that they're not saying -- officials are not saying a whole lot about what those talks are being -- the nature of those talks, only that it is businesslike and generally calm. So they are being upbeat about the talks, saying that there is progress. The fact that more hostages were released today, the second day of this hostage ordeal, is a positive step, but the terror continues for some 150 hostages aboard this plane right in back of me here, along with the hostage takers, the sky pirates who are armed, heavily armed, with grenades and guns -- Lou.

WATERS: All right, Chris Burns. We'll be closely watching this story.

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