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Monday, September 21, 1998 Published at 18:24 GMT 19:24 UK


The hostages' ordeal

The couple: As filmed by their kidnappers

Charity workers Jon James and Camilla Carr endured 14 months in captivity in Chechnya before their release.
  • July 4, 1997 - The couple are seized by masked gunmen at the Little Star Peacekeeping and Community Development Centre on the outskirts of the Chechen capital Grozny.

  • August 1997 - The UK government stands firm against the possibility of paying a ransom amid reports that three Russians and an Italian are freed after a combined sum of about £1.5m is handed over.

  • September 1997 - The Foreign Office tells the hostages' families it believes that the couple are still alive.

  • November 1997 - A team of soldiers from Britain's elite SAS regiment reportedly prepares to leave for Chechnya in a bid to rescue the pair and bring them home for Christmas.

  • March 1998 - Chechen commandos fail in a mission to free the Britons after a fierce gun battle with the kidnappers leaves up to three people dead. Ms Carr and Mr James are reported to have survived unscathed.

  • April 1998 - The families are shown a video, sent to British diplomats, which reveals the hostages are alive and in reasonable health.

  • July 1998 - The families mark the first anniversary of the couple's capture by printing hundreds of postcards carrying a picture of the two and calling for their release which are sent to the Russian Embassy in London.

  • August 1998 - The kidnappers film a video of the two, looking pale and gaunt, talking about their time in captivity. The tape is shown to the families before being released to the BBC.

  • September 20, 1998 - Camilla Carr and Jon James are set free and fly back to Britain for an emotional homecoming.

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