Iraq hostages paraded on TV

The footage shows a masked man holding an assault rifle as two men crouch in front of him holding up their passports.

The masked man said the hostages will die if their governments fail to condemn the occupation.

The foreigners have identified themselves as Turk Bulent Yanik and Egyptian Victor Tawfiq Jerges.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said the Egyptian delegation in Baghdad is following the situation and maintaining contact with the relevant Iraqi authorities.

Meanwhile, weeks after their capture, three Italian hostages taken hostage in Iraq were shown on a video broadcast on an Arab television station.

Four Italian men working as private guards in Iraq were kidnapped April 12. Soon after, the captors executed one, Fabrizio Quattrocchi and issued a videotape of his killing.

The footage shown on Wednesday on the Al-Jazeera satellite network – and immediately re-broadcast on Italian television – depicted the three remaining hostages eating and sitting in chairs before the camera.

The men were bearded and a little haggard but seemed not to have been physically harmed.

Although it was not clear when the footage was filmed, it was the first video of the men since April 26, when Arab TV channel Al-Arabiya showed footage of the three eating food from a large pot with their fingers.

Italians have followed the fate of the three with great concern. After initial indications that the three would be freed, their captivity has dragged on.

During that period, the Italian government has been working to free the three but is not speaking about the negotiations.

An Iraqi armed group calling itself the Green Brigade has said it was behind the abductions.

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