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.

 

Horse-trading begins as Tunisia awaits formation of new government

Jihadists flock to fight on ‘unprecedented scale’

UK court says Libyan Abdul-Hakim Belhaj can sue over rendition

Syria accuses Turkey of ‘flagrant violation of sovereignty’

Global campaign to end female genital mutilation kicks off

US to examine troops exposed to chemicals in Iraq

African Union hits back at Somalia rape claims

New scare in Turkey as ‘suspect packages’ found

‘Insults against Netanyahu’ cause embarrassment to US

Kuwait online activist gets four years in jail for insulting judges

Heavy fighting in South Sudan sparks fears of humanitarian catastrophe

Sweden officially recognises State of Palestine

Egypt jails retired general for damaging national security

Israel closes al-Aqsa mosque to worshipers in rare move

Gaza civil servants receive delayed salaries

After US criticism, Israel vows no concessions to Palestinians

Libya internationally recognised PM opens doors of dialogue with rivals

Huthi rebels seize stronghold of Muslim Brotherhood in central Yemen

Will Nidaa Tounes shun Islamists in Tunisia government formation?

Egypt starts work on buffer zone along border with Gaza

Turkey Sultan unveils new palace: Another break with symbols of secular state

Heavy toll as ‘Islamic State’ fights for control of Syria oil field

Iran President suffers fresh setback with rejection of Science Minister

Nuclear deal or no deal: ‘Red lines’ lay bare internal divisions in Iran

Heavy security in Mogadishu as UN chief meets Somalia president

Fighters from Free Syrian Army leave Turkey to join Kobane battle

Israel denies banning Palestinians sharing buses

Kurd fighters leave northern Iraq base for Syria deployment

Jordan requests UN emergency meeting over Israel settler expansion

Jerusalem Mayor visits Al-Aqsa mosque prompting anger

Tunisia reinforces commitment to democracy with ‘transparent’ elections

Turkey ‘decides’ for Kobane future: No Kurds, no Assad... Only Free Syrian Army!

Bahrain suspends Al-Wefaq weeks before parliamentary elections

Huge game changer in Tunisia: ‘In-credible’ failure of Islamist Ennahda Party

Libya PM in Khartoum for talks with Bashir

PKK hijack truck seizing explosive substance

Saudi lawyers get jail time for offensive tweets

Ennahda concedes defeat in Tunisia parliamentary elections

Syria rebels launch assault on regime-held city of Idlib

Iraq peshmerga wait for Turkey stance to depart for Syria

Sisi enacts military trials decree to cover ‘existential threat’

US calls for online war against ‘Islamic State’

Donors pledge $8 billion for Horn of Africa

Acid attacks in Iran: Deputy of Judiciary Chief to lead investigation

Lebanon army enters Islamist stronghold in Tripoli