German hostages get new deadline

Iraqi group demands troop withdrawal from Afghanistan within 10 days.

    The hostage-takers have threatened to kill Krause, right, and her son [AFP] 

    "Germany was safe before it got involved in this satanic coalition with America against what they call terrorism.


    "Maybe for the last time ...I urge you. Perhaps you can go to the newspapers, perhaps you can organise a protest march people who can help you, please please, please."


    The remarks were addressed to a son and daughter living in Germany.


    New ultimatum


    One of her captors speaking on the video but out of sight said: "We are giving the German government another 10 days to begin withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan or we shall kill this criminal woman and her son who works in the foreign ministry of the government of Maliki [the Iraqi prime minister]."


    He said the woman was seized partly because she worked at the Austrian embassy in Baghdad.


    "Austria is a government hostile to Islam and Muslims and it also has troops to kill our children in Afghanistan," he said.


    Germany, which opposed the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, has about 3,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of a Nato force stationed in the country after US-led troops toppled the Taliban in 2001 for harbouring al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.


    Austria said last month it had five officers in Afghanistan and was not planning to send more troops.


    The German government has said it is working to try to secure the hostages' release but will not be blackmailed.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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