FREETOWN, Sierra Leone -- Sierra Leone's government Saturday refused to bow to demands for the release of rebel leader Foday Sankoh, saying his fate was still being decided.
''It's out of the question,'' said Information Minister Julius Spencer. ''It's not possible.''
Sankoh, widely reviled for his role in the country's brutal civil war, was seized Wednesday as he walked toward his Freetown home -- the same home he fled May 8 when his fighters fired on a crowd of demonstrators, killing 19.
The rebels, who are holding more than 330 U.N. peacekeepers hostage, have reportedly demanded Sankoh's release and could potentially use their U.N. hostages as bargaining chips.
But the government has yet to say what will happen to the rebel chief.
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