LONDON – A group of Christian peace activists kidnapped in Iraq urged Britain and the United States to pull out of the violence-torn country in a video excerpt aired Tuesday by the British Broadcasting Corp.
The BBC said the excerpt was an unseen section of a video broadcast last week by Al-Jazeera in which the Swords of Righteousness Brigade threatened to kill the four men — a Briton, an American and two Canadians — unless all prisoners in U.S. and Iraqi detention centers are freed by Dec. 8. The network said it obtained the new footage from the Internet.
"I ask Mr. Blair to take British troops out of Iraq and leave the Iraqi people to come to their own decisions on their government," a British-accented male voice, presumably that of Briton Norman Kember, said in the new excerpt, referring to British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
A male voice with a North American accent then said: "As a representative of Christian Peacemaker Teams, we feel that continued American and British occupation is not in the best interest of the Iraqi people."
The activists — Tom Fox, 54, of Clear Brook, Va.; Kember, 74, of London; James Loney, 41, of Toronto, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, also of Canada — were taken hostage Nov. 27.