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|Monday, July 10, 2000, updated at 08:26(GMT+8)|
Deal Reached for Fiji Hostages' ReleaseFiji coup leader George Speight said Sunday he had reached a deal with the military for the release of the 27 hostages, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.
George Speight said the hostages will be set free on Thursday morning ahead of a meeting of the Great Council of Chiefs, the ABC reported.
The chiefs will select a new president and vice-president, who will then name a new interim government, the ABC said.
An agreement is expected to be signed by Speight and his supporters and the military shortly to allow for the release of the hostages.
Speight said he believed the country's hostage drama is almost over.
"I'm putting the decision to them (the chiefs) on Thursday and on the morning of that Thursday before the chiefs sit down all of the hostages will be released. That is the plan," he said.
The ABC quoted rebel spokesman Jo Nata as saying that Speight and his supporters have got what they want and are not interested in democracy.
Meanwhile, the town of Korovou in east Fiji's Tai Levu district had been taken over by land owners supporting Speight's coup, the ABC said.
Korovou is sealed at each end by road blocks, manned by hooded men, brandishing military assault rifles.
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