Iraqi Gunmen Display Turkish Hostages
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Iraqi resistance forces displayed seven Turks said to have been kidnapped because they worked for Americans and threatened companies cooperating with U.S. forces with more attacks.
Videotape obtained by Associated Press Television News showed three of the hostages surrounded by armed men wearing masks. Four other hostages were shown to reporters separately.
The tape showed three men crouching on the floor, holding passports opened to the photo page.
Six masked men were standing behind the hostages. One was holding a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and two were holding assault rifles. The hostages were sitting against the backdrop of the old Iraqi flag, held by some of the kidnappers.
"We urge the Muslim Turkish people...to stand by the side of their Iraqi, Muslim brothers in their crisis by refusing to work with the occupation forces," said one of the masked men. "We also ask the companies that deal with the occupation forces to cancel their contracts and withdraw its personnel from Iraq in order for the hostages to be released."
The statement threatened more attacks on companies working with the U.S. occupation.
"We tell these companies that if they don't cancel their contracts with the Americans and pull out their personnel, they will be targeted by the Iraqi resistance," it warned.
The statement did not say how the hostages were kidnapped. It said the hostages were working "to serve the interests of the occupation forces in Iraq."
Toward the end of the statement, signed by a group calling itself The United Armed Iraqi Resistance (search), the kidnapper said "God is great" three times.