France apparently rushed five planeloads of troops and equipment to its South Pacific territory of New Caledonia after armed separatists took seven more French hostages, French radio reported. The reported troop move came after a group of Frenchmen, including a magistrate and the head of France's elite anti-terrorist squad, were kidnaped by New Caledonian separatists as they tried to negotiate freedom for 16 other captives. French government officials refused any comment on the kidnapings. Sources at a military airport near Nantes in western France said five Transall military transport aircraft took off, bound initially for Paris, with an unknown number of troops aboard. Those captured included Philippe Legorjus, leader of the elite Intervention Group of the National Gendarmerie flown out from Paris for the crisis. The separatists are seeking an independent island nation.
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