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KIDNAPPERS INVITE KIN OF HOSTAGE TO VISIT HIM

SHARE KIDNAPPERS INVITE KIN OF HOSTAGE TO VISIT HIM

Shiite Muslim kidnappers on Friday invited the wife and daughter of American hostage Jesse "Jon" Turner to come to Lebanon to see him, saying they were answering a humanitarian request from the United Nations.

The Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine made the announcement in a brief statement sent to the Beirut independent newspaper an-Nahar and a Western news agency, authenticated by a picture of Turner, a native of Boise, and of Alann Steen.The two American educators were kidnapped together from the campus of Beirut University College on Jan. 24, 1987.

The kidnappers also released a letter, in English, saying it was written by Turner to his Lebanese wife, Badr, asking her to come to Beirut with their daughter Joanne as soon as possble.

Badr Turner, interviewed in Boise by The Associated Press, said the announcement raised her hopes.

"It's a great idea," she said. "I hope that if I can see him I can bring him back with me. He's eager to see his daughter of course."

Joanne was born six months after Turner, 44, was kidnapped with Steen, 52, of Boston. Turner taught mathematics and computer science and Steen taught journalism.

None of the Western hostages has ever received a visit.

In the color photograph, Turner and Steen were seated and appeared in good health and relaxed. Turner, wearing glasses, had a bushy black beard and wore a dark sweat shirt and trousers. Steen had a thinner beard, wore a gray track suit and looked straight into the camera.