Image: German hostages
A video aired Monday shows Thomas Nitschke, right, and Rene Braeunlich surrounded by their kidnappers. The two Germans were abducted Jan. 24.
updated 2/13/2006 2:48:38 PM ET 2006-02-13T19:48:38

Al-Arabiya TV aired footage of two German hostages surrounded by their kidnappers Monday who threatened to kill them unless the German government met their demands, but no deadline was set.

The Dubai-based station's broadcaster said the kidnappers, identified as Tawhid and Sunnah Brigade, warned the German government that it was the “last chance” to meet their demands or they will kill hostages Thomas Nitschke and Rene Braeunlich, who were abducted Jan. 24 in Beiji, north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

“This is the last warning to fulfill the demands of the group,” the broadcaster cited the kidnappers as saying. An al-Arabiya news editor, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was unauthorized to speak to the media, said the kidnappers had not set any deadline to carry through their threats on the tape.

The editor added that the station would not air the whole video because much of it was propaganda.

Insist embassies be closed
In the last tape showing the hostages aired Jan. 31, the group called on Germany to close its embassy in Baghdad and stop cooperating with the Iraqi government or it would kill the hostages within 72 hours. That tape was broadcast by Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV.

Al-Arabiya's broadcaster said the two German hostages spoke in German on the latest tape and pleaded their government to “save their lives.”

The voices of the hostages and the kidnappers were not heard on the tape, which showed the Germans sitting on the ground and wearing orange colored shirts.

Four masked men stood behind them, one reading a statement from a piece of paper and holding his other hand in the air. One other carried a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and another had a gun.

Al-Arabiya aired the tape shortly after 8 p.m., just “minutes” after receiving it.

Nitschke and Braeunlich were seized by armed men in military uniform while on their way to work at a detergent plant near the oil refinery in Beiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad.

Some 250 foreigners, including U.S. journalist Jill Carroll who was abducted in Baghdad on Jan. 7, have been taken captive since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, and at least 39 have been killed.

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