First Published: 2004-09-20

 
Iraq militants parade 18 captive guardsmen
 

Mohammed bin Abdullah Brigade threatens to execute guardsmen in 48 hours if militia commander is not released.

 

Middle East Online

Another unknown group

DOHA - An Iraqi militant group paraded 18 captive national guardsmen in video footage aired by Al-Jazeera television Sunday with a threat to execute them in 48 hours if a Shiite radical militia commander is not released.

Calling itself the Mohammed bin Abdullah Brigade, the group demanded the immediate release of Hazem al-Araji, representative of Shiite radical leader Moqtada Sadr for the Baghdad pilgrimage district of Kadhimiya, the television reported.

Another Sadr aide in the Iraqi capital denied his movement had any connection to the kidnappers.

The hostage-takers "threatened to kill the captive national guardsmen if Araji is not freed in 48 hours," Al-Jazeera said.

Araji aides cited by the rival Al-Arabiya network confirmed that 18 guardsmen were in custody and not 15 as reported by Al-Jazeera in earlier broadcasts.

The threat from the previously unknown group was a rare resort to hostage-taking by militants from Iraq's Shiite majority. Nearly all of the abductions in Iraq's five-month-old hostage crisis have been carried out by Sunni Arab militant groups.

The video footage showed at least four masked gunmen standing over the guardsmen who had their hands tied behind their backs. Some wore helmets and camouflage uniforms, others wore T-shirts.

Sadr's representative in the movement's main Baghdad stronghold of Sadr City insisted it had no links to the kidnappers, but seized on the incident to assail the performance of the Iraqi interim government.

"We do not know the group who claimed this kidnapping and we don't have any ties with them but we understand their reaction," said Naim al-Qaabi.

"I think this operation is explained by the security void in this country and illustrates Iraqis' lack of confidence in their government," Qaabi said.

A prominent Shiite radical leader in the capital, Araji was detained by the national guard before dawn Sunday along with his brother in an operation also involving US troops, relatives said.

 

France, US clash with Iran over changing nuclear accord

Syria donors fall short of UN target without US aid

Same family names in Lebanon election

Turkey jails opposition daily journalists

Iraq’s ex-football stars from sports to politics

Morocco king visits police headquarters in Temara

Western powers dismiss claim that Syria chemical attack was staged

US defense secretary says 'no decision' yet on Iran deal

Israel flash floods leave several young people missing

Highs and lows in Egypt’s Operation Sinai

416 donors to IS identified in France

Five migrants die trying to cross Mediterranean

Rights architects nominated for UK art prize

In Iraq's Anbar, election offers chance to settle scores

Philippines demands explanation after Kuwait expels ambassador

UK ‘seeking information’ over British-Iranian’s arrest

Macron says Trump may pull out of Iran nuclear deal

Turkey opposition journalists demand acquittal in terror trial

UN says Syria blocking humanitarian aid to Douma

OPCW experts visit second site of alleged Douma gas attack

Israeli policeman gets 9 months jail for killing Palestinian

US court rules for Arab Bank in precedent-setting case

Lebanese candidates pay hefty price for media coverage

Madani’s resignation sheds light on Iranian power play

Kuwait expels Filipino ambassador over treatment of workers

Syria aid donations for 2018 fall short of amount hoped

Growing anti-war sentiment in the US Congress could spell trouble for Trump

Liverpool’s Salah wins Israeli defence minister’s plaudits

Body of assassinated Palestinian driven through Malaysian capital

'Gap in perceptions' threatens wider Middle East war

UNESCO picks Morocco for project on prevention of violent extremism

Syrian regime retakes region near Damascus from rebels

Mogherini: Iran deal 'needs to be preserved'

Syria rebels prepare as Assad sets sights on next target

Iran's Rouhani questions 'right' to seek new nuclear deal

Iraq's Shiites split ahead of crucial vote

EU to Russia, Iran: Bring Syria to peace talks

Trump, Macron call for 'new' nuclear deal with Iran

Saudi Arabia claims killing of Yemen rebel leader

Syria's Idlib 'big new challenge' for international community

UNRWA chief says Palestinian aid $200 million short since Trump cuts

Bad memories resurface at Raqa’s mass grave

Turkey newspaper chief slams journalist terror trial

Setback for Yemen rebels after strike takes out leader

Saudi issues Islamic sukuk sale to finance deficit