SYDNEY, Australia — Boredom mixed with brutality.
Giving a glimpse into the life of a hostage in Iraq, Australian engineer Douglas Wood has described the 47 days he spent in the hands of insurgents in Baghdad.
In an interview televised Sunday on Australia’s Ten Network, Wood, the 64-year-old engineer and California resident described the mind-numbing routine of waiting, blindfolded and shackled, for his regular meals of bread and water.
But random and deadly violence could break the routine at any time.
He also told of two Iraqi hostages being gunned down in the same room he was held in.
Wood said the first victim was hit by their captors.
“He collapsed to the ground. His head was maybe two inches from my foot and bang, bang, bang — even a silenced gun is very consciously a gun shot in an enclosed space,” Wood said.
‘When is my turn?’
Just 24 hours passed before the insurgents murdered another captive, apparently turning up a TV to drown out the gunfire. Wood said he then thought: “When is my turn?”
He also told of his feelings of guilt when he learned, after Iraqi and U.S. forces found him two weeks ago during a search of a dangerous Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad, that his two Iraqi assistants also had been killed.
He said the Iraqis were taken away after he was duped into attending a meeting in Baghdad.
“The next thing I see is my assistants being gagged, blindfolded, and very dejectedly marched out and I felt rotten,” he said. “I think probably the lowest point in my captivity was my concern for those two boys going out.”
The vast majority of Wood’s time was spent blindfolded, huddling in a room in Baghdad.
He said he devised mental games to keep his mind busy — trying to remember the names of all the girlfriends he had ever had, recalling childhood vacations and even the act of buying an ice cream.
“I was conscious of trying to keep myself sane by exercising my mind,” he said.
The show also briefly interviewed Wood’s wife Yvonne Given, of Alamo, Calif., who said that she feared going public throughout his captivity.
“I was worried again that anything I said might cause his death,” she said.
© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.