ROME – Arab TV channel Al-Arabiya (search) showed a video Monday of what it said were three Italian hostages in Iraq, and said their captors were threatening to kill the captives.
Al-Arabiya said an Iraqi armed group called the "Green Brigade" vowed to execute the three captives if Italian authorities move to prevent protests against Italy's role in Iraq. The Italian government has made no such moves.
The three men are shown in the video sitting behind a small table and eating from a large pot with their fingers. The hostages are bearded. It was not clear when the video was made.
The three men, who were working in Iraq as private security guards, were kidnapped on April 12 as they took a taxi from Baghdad (search). A fourth Italian who was abducted with them was later executed, an Italian envoy confirmed after viewing another video.
Premier Silvio Berlusconi's (search) conservative government has been a strong ally of the U.S. administration of President Bush. After the Iraq war, some 3,000 Italian troops and paramilitary troops were deployed in Iraq for reconstruction and humanitarian missions.