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Kidnappers of Europeans Threaten to Destroy Dam

January 9, 1996

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) _ A person claiming to represent the kidnappers of two European women threatened Tuesday to destroy a hydroelectric dam unless the government meets their demands.

The women were seized Jan. 1 from a hotel in San Carlos, near the Nicaraguan border, by a group that identified itself as the Viviana Gallardo Commando.

The kidnappers want more than $1 million in ransom as well as freedom for attackers who took over the Costa Rican Supreme Court in 1993.

A person identifying himself as one of the kidnappers called Channel 7 TV in San Jose on Tuesday and made the threat against the Arenal dam.

``We want the government to talk to us,″ said the speaker, who also threatened to blow up bridges and telephone and electric power lines.

The kidnapped woman are Regula Susana Siegfried, 50, a Swiss national who lives in Costa Rica, and Nicola Fleutchaus, 24, a German tourist.

The government says negotiations have not advanced since the kidnappers talked to a priest Thursday and demanded that the government meet the demands.

Costa Rican police and Nicaraguan soldiers have been combing the mountainous area where the kidnappings took place but have reported no sign of the kidnappers or the victims.

This was the third kidnapping in three weeks in Costa Rica. Two other women abducted in separate incidents were freed unharmed after their families paid ransom.

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