German hostage in Iraq pleads for help in video

10th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

10 April 2006, BERLIN - One of the two German engineers abducted in Iraq 10 weeks ago pleaded to Berlin in a video obtained Sunday to get him out.

10 April 2006

BERLIN - One of the two German engineers abducted in Iraq 10 weeks ago pleaded to Berlin in a video obtained Sunday to get him out.

"We've been in captivity here for more than 60 days. We are at the end of our tether. We can't stand it any longer. Help us please," said Thomas Nitzschke, 28, in German in the video which was apparently made by the kidnappers and uploaded to an Islamist website.

Nitzschke and Rene Braeunlich, 32, were seized on January 24 in Bayji while they were on their way to do contract work at an Iraqi factory. There had been no word on their fate since an early February video message.

The latest video, only a few seconds long, is the fourth to be issued by the abductors, who have not identified themselves. The two men are among seven western hostages in Iraq.

Authorities in Berlin were studying the video pictures Sunday. The film appeared to have been made on March 28. A printed message in Arabic appeared to threaten the men with murder.

The two men have so far been hostages for 75 days.

The mother of Braeunlich, Ingeborg Braeunlich, told reporters Sunday that federal German police contacted her to tell her about the video. The police told her they would analyse the file before commenting.

The German Foreign Office has had a crisis team working on the case since the abduction but has released very little information about what it is doing. The team was studying the images Sunday.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said a Monday meeting of the team would consider the next move. Apart from confirming that officials had seen the video, she offered no comment on it.

A banner running through the video said in Arabic, "In the name of God the Merciful, Battalion of the Supporters of Tawhid and Sunna." Iraqi journalists said it also contained a black panel with a "final ultimatum" demanding US forces release prisoners in Iraq.

"If you do not meet our demands to release the detained men and women from the prisons and if you do not cease all support for the Americans and their helpers, you will immediately suffer the just penalty," it said, according to one reporter's translation.

The employer of the two, Peter Bienert of the firm Cryotec near Leipzig, earlier complained that he was not receiving enough information from the Foreign Office about efforts to gain the men's release. Bienert had been criticized for sending the men to Iraq.


Subject: German news

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