Al Jazeera airs new video of hostages in Iraq | india | Hindustan Times
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Al Jazeera airs new video of hostages in Iraq

The captors of four Western peace activists in Iraq said US-led forces had one last chance to free Iraqi prisoners or they would kill the hostages.

india Updated: Jan 29, 2006 00:17 IST
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The captors of four Western peace activists in Iraq said US-led forces had one last chance to free Iraqi prisoners or they would kill the hostages, Al Jazeera television said on Saturday.

The Arabic channel aired a video from the Swords of Truth group, apparently showing the two Canadians, one Briton and one American standing against a wall. The grainy footage, shot in a dark room, was dated January 21.

The hostages appeared to be speaking to the camera but their voices could not be heard.

Briton Norman Kember, American Tom Fox and Canadians James Loney and Harmeet Sooden were kidnapped on November 26 in Baghdad, where they were working with a Christian peace organisation, by the previously unknown "Swords of Truth".

"The group ... said it was giving a last chance for its demands to be met through the release of Iraqi prisoners in American and Iraqi prisons in exchange for the release of the four hostages," the television said.

"The Swords of Truth" earlier issued a video of the four men and accused them of spying for US-led forces. It threatened to kill them unless prisoners in Iraqi jails were freed.

Reverend Alan Betteridge, president of the Baptist Peace Fellowship to which Kember, 74, belongs, said he was happy to see evidence the four were alive but concerned over the threat.