Still no contact with Iraq aid worker's abductors

1st December 2005, Comments 0 comments

1 December 2005, BERLIN - German authorities have not been able to establish contact with the abductors of an aid worker kidnapped in Iraq, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in Berlin Thursday.

1 December 2005

BERLIN - German authorities have not been able to establish contact with the abductors of an aid worker kidnapped in Iraq, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in Berlin Thursday.

Speaking six days after the abduction of Susanne Osthoff, 43, Steinmeier said efforts were underway to make contact with the group that abducted the archaeologist turned aid worker on Friday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has made clear that payment of a ransom is "not under discussion".

Steinmeier said the German authorities were in constant contact with the authorities in France and Italy, who have successfully secured the release of their citizens under similar circumstances.

According to reports in the German media, Osthoff was abducted during a cross-country trip in Nineveh Province in the north of Iraq.

Thursday's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported the crisis team in Berlin set up to secure Osthoff's release had concluded that a video delivered by the abductors had an "improvised" character.

The team believed Osthoff had been abducted by opportunist criminals, the newspaper said.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has pledged his personal support. "We want to find out as quickly as possible where she is, with the aim of freeing her from the extremists," Talabani told the German newspaper, the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung.

DPA

Subject: German news

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