Fears for kidnapped Germans after ultimatum expires

13th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

13 April 2007, Berlin (dpa) - The German government Friday expressed fears for the safety of two Germans held hostage for more than two months in Iraq after a deadline for their release expired. Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said Berlin had not given up hope the hostages were still in good health and was doing all it could to ensure they would be able to return to their family. A crisis team set up by the government would meet later Friday to analyse the situation, Jaeger said. The two hostages,

13 April 2007

Berlin (dpa) - The German government Friday expressed fears for the safety of two Germans held hostage for more than two months in Iraq after a deadline for their release expired.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said Berlin had not given up hope the hostages were still in good health and was doing all it could to ensure they would be able to return to their family.

A crisis team set up by the government would meet later Friday to analyse the situation, Jaeger said.

The two hostages, Berlin-born Hannelore Kadhim, 61, and her son Sinana, 20, were abducted from their Baghdad home on February 6 by a group calling itself Arrows of Righteousness.

Videos of the hostages begging for mercy were posted on the internet by the abductors, who threatened to kill them if Germany did not withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

The abductors set a 10-day deadline for the pullout in the first video released March 21, but extended their ultimatum for another 10 days in a second video earlier this month.

"Germany will not allow itself to be blackmailed on this issue," Deputy Foreign Minister Gernot Erler said hours before the ultimatum ran out at midnight on Thursday.

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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