German, Iraqi driver abducted in Iraq

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Map of Iraq

A German citizen and her Iraqi driver were abducted in Iraq on Friday.

The Baghdad bureau of the German TV station ARD received a tape from the hostage-takers on Monday evening. In it three armed men are demading that Germany breaks off diplomatic relations with the Iraqi government in exchange for the lives of the hostages. The station has refused to air the tape and only released a still image.

The hostage is a 43-year old archaeologist working in Iraq. She is a converted muslim and married to a Jordanian. Her 10-year old daughter is living with friends in Germany.

The German foreign ministry has established a crisis squad and is trying to negotiate the release of the hostages. But the vice chair of the parliamentary foreign committee, Hans-Ulrich Klose, called the demands of the kidnappers "unacceptable".

Germany did not participate in the Iraq War and does not have soldiers stationed there. It is however training Iraqi police officers in neighbouring countries.