CAIRO, Egypt – An Iraqi insurgent group threatened to kill a German woman and her son kidnapped in Iraq unless Germany withdrew its troops from Afghanistan within 10 days, according to a video posted by the group on Saturday.
The video, from a previously unknown group calling itself the "Arrows of Righteousness," shows the abducted woman, identified as Hannelore Marianne Krause. She wears a blue scarf over her head, has eyeglasses and is shown seated on the floor, next to her grown son.
"I am here threatened by these people, they will kill my son in front of my eyes, then they will kill me if the German forces do not pull out of Afghanistan," she sobs, speaking in German as an Arabic translation scrolls over the screen.
The woman appeals to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to respond to the kidnappers' demands.
"Respectable Chancellor Merkel, I am terrified in this country as I have been detained for a long time," she says. "I beg you to do anything to appease these men."
The faces of the two captives are downcast. The son, a dark-haired younger man whom the woman holds on to, does not speak but bursts into tears.
Three masked gunmen also are shown in the video standing behind the hostages, holding Kalashnikovs and threatening to kill the two in 10 days if Germany did not give in to their demand.
German officials have refused to identify the captives or say why they are in Iraq. The authenticity of the insurgent video, carried by the Arab stations, could not be independently verified.
Last month, German authorities confirmed that two Germans had been missing in Iraq since Feb. 6.
German newspaper Berliner Morgenpost had said the two apparently were kidnapped in Baghdad.
Germany has no troops in Iraq but has about 2,700 troops serving with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, most of them focused in the north of the country.