Abductors of two Germans issue new ultimatum

3rd April 2007, Comments 0 comments

3 April 2007, Berlin (dpa) - A renewed ultimatum demanding Germany's withdrawal from Afghanistan in return for the freeing of two hostages held in Iraq was being closely examined by a crisis team, the Foreign Ministry in Berlin said. Security expert Georg Thamm said the fact that the abductors had allowed an earlier deadline to pass could indicate that the group - the Arrows of Righteousness - could be more interested in ransom than in political aims. The German government has recently repeated that it wil

3 April 2007

Berlin (dpa) - A renewed ultimatum demanding Germany's withdrawal from Afghanistan in return for the freeing of two hostages held in Iraq was being closely examined by a crisis team, the Foreign Ministry in Berlin said.

Security expert Georg Thamm said the fact that the abductors had allowed an earlier deadline to pass could indicate that the group - the Arrows of Righteousness - could be more interested in ransom than in political aims.

The German government has recently repeated that it will not submit to blackmail, but there was no immediate official response to the new ultimatum.

In a video released on the internet, the abductors said they would kill Hannelore Kadhim, a 61-year-old woman married to an Iraqi, and her son Sinana, 20, if German troops were not withdrawn from Afghanistan within 10 days.

The group described Kadhim, maiden name Krause, as a senior person in the Austrian Embassy in Baghdad, adding that Austria was hostile to Islam. It noted that Sinana Kadhim worked for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.

"We give the German government a further 10 days to begin withdrawing their troops from Afghanistan, otherwise the fate of this criminal and her son will be death," it said.

In the video, Kadhim appeals in German to her relatives in Germany to mobilize the German press and to organize a protest march.

"Why should we be victims in a war that has nothing to do with us?" she asks.

And she called on the German people for help. "Germany was safe before we entered into the diabolical US alliance against what the US calls terrorism," she said.

"I will be the first victim unless you respond to the demands of these men," Kadhim says.

Thamm noted that an earlier 10-day deadline had been allowed to run out on March 20. "When deadlines run out it often means they are trying to extract more money," Thamm told national German news broadcaster N-TV.

The two hostages were abducted from their Baghdad home on February 6.

Some 3,000 German troops are deployed on a strictly reconstruction mission in the northern provinces of Afghanistan. Germany opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq and has not deployed forces there.

DPA

Subject: German news

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