Jordanian hostage appeals for his life

DUBAI (AFP) — A Jordanian held hostage in Iraq said in a videotape aired on Al Arabiya television on Sunday that his captors had wrapped him in an explosive belt and set a four-day deadline to execute him unless their demands are met.
“I appeal to the Jordanian government not to ignore my issue because my life is in danger, as the deadline for my life sentence has been extended by four days,” said the hostage, identifying himself as Mahmoud Salman Saaidat. “I am in great danger, the area is full of mines and I am wearing an explosive belt and I do not know when my last hour will come,” said the hostage, wearing prescription glasses as he was reading a statement.

The screen also showed the name of the group holding him, the “Hawks Brigade.” The man, a driver for the Jordanian ambassador to Iraq, was snatched in south Baghdad on December 20.

In the videotape, he pleaded: “I hope you will respond to save my life and that of my children.” This was the fourth time that his captors have extended the deadline to execute him, saying he will die unless an Iraqi woman, Sajida Atrous Al Rishawi, is freed from prison where she has been held since hotel bombings in Amman in November.

Rishawi was arrested after the Amman triple bombings and confessed about her role in the attacks which killed 57 people plus the bombers, one of them her husband.

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