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In pictures: Iran hostage crisis
Early release

Two weeks into the crisis and there seemed to be a moment of hope.

Ayatollah Khomeini ordered the release of 13 female and black hostages, mostly clerical staff (including Kathy Gross, centre) and members of the marine guard whose job it is to guard US embassies around the world.

Another hostage, vice consul Richard Queen, was released in July 1980 after falling ill with multiple sclerosis. But the remaining 52 were to be deprived of their freedom for 444 painful days.

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