German abductees' mothers call for their release

2nd February 2006, Comments 0 comments

2 February 2006, LEIPZIG - The mothers of two German engineers held hostage in Iraq made a direct appeal to the kidnappers Thursday calling on them to show mercy and to release their sons. Thomas Nitzschke, 28, and Rene Braeunlich, 31, who were working in Iraq for a Leipzig-based company, were kidnapped early last week in the northern city of Bayji, about 200 kilometres north-west of Baghdad. Concerns about the safety of the two engineers have grown dramatically in recent days following an ultimatum from t

2 February 2006

LEIPZIG - The mothers of two German engineers held hostage in Iraq made a direct appeal to the kidnappers Thursday calling on them to show mercy and to release their sons.

Thomas Nitzschke, 28, and Rene Braeunlich, 31, who were working in Iraq for a Leipzig-based company, were kidnapped early last week in the northern city of Bayji, about 200 kilometres north-west of Baghdad.

Concerns about the safety of the two engineers have grown dramatically in recent days following an ultimatum from the kidnappers threatening to kill the hostages within 72 hours unless Germany closes its embassy in Baghdad and withdraws its companies from Iraq.

However, it remains unclear when the ultimatum dates from. The ultimatum was contained in a video broadcast earlier this week showing the two engineers kneeling and surrounded by armed masked men.

In a broadcast, Ingeborg Braeunlich und Helga Nitzschke asked the kidnappers to show "compassion and mercy."

They said their son had not travelled to Iraq for political reasons.

"We saw our sons on television. We have fears for their lives", they said adding that the wives of the hostages were also deeply concerned about their husbands. "Please release Rene and Thomas," the mothers said.

The kidnappers were from a group calling itself Kataib Ansar al- Tawhid wa al-Sunna (Brigades of Followers of the Holy Unity and Example of the Prophet), according to the broadcast earlier this week.

Also the President of the Islamic Federation in Berlin, Aykut Algan, called Thursday on the hostage takers to immediately release the two engineers. The members of the Islamic federation were praying for the hostages and for their safe return, he said.

Leipzig residents have been staging vigils as part of an effort to secure the release of Braeunlich and Nitzschke.

DPA

Subject: German news

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