Arab television station Al Jazeera is claiming that three Japanese civilian workers have been captured in Iraq and are being held hostage by Iraqi
insurgents. Making the claim is a group calling itself Saraya al-Mujahideen.
South Korean news agency Yonhap is reporting seven South Koreans on a church mission were being held by an armed Iraqi group. They have since been
Also reported captured is British civilian contractor Gary Teely, who was abducted from Nassiriya as confirmed by Coalition officials.
The Haaretz news agency is reporting that Iranian TV has aired video of two Israeli Arabs from Jerusalem now being held captive in Iraq.
Canadian Foreign Affairs report that a civilian humanitarian worker, Fadhi Ihsan Fadel, was abducted in Najaf. Fadel is employed with New York based
International Rescue Committee.
Al Jazeera, within the last few minutes, broadcast video of the hostages and their passports. Video was shown of two men: Noriaki Imai & Soichiro
Koriyama, and one woman: Takato Nahoko. They were bound and blindfolded, surrounded by persons armed with handguns and rifles. The full video
reveals the hostages screaming as knives and swords are held to their throats and as they are prodded with guns.
The statement included with the tape said, "...Three of your sons have fallen into our hands. We offer you two choices: either pull out your
forces, or we will burn them alive and feed them to the fighters. We give you three days starting the day this tape is broadcast."
Two of the three are journalists, and the other is an aid worker.
Eight South Koreans on a church mission were also captured, and one has since escaped. Rev. Kim Sang-mi, the man who escaped, confirms the capture
west of Baghdad but was unable to give further details. The seven have now been released.
The South Korean hostages have been identified as Huh Min Young, Lim Young Seok, Hong Gwang Cheon, Cho Jeong Kyon, Lee Myung Sook, Kim Pil Ja and Byun
The Israeli men are identified as hmed Yassin Tikati and Nabil George Yaakob Razuq. Both are civilian aid workers. Ansar a-Din has claimed
responsibility for their capture, but have yet to make any demands.
Japanese forces are in Iraq on humanitarian and reconstruction missions. Recent attacks on a Japanese base in the country caused efforts to cease on
a temporary basis while the attacks are being investigated.
South Korea has approximately 600 civilian engineers and medics in Iraq.
It is unknown if this is related to earlier reports of Spanish and American soldiers being held hostage. There is speculation that this may be a
co-ordinated hostage-taking effort by the insurgent groups.
[Edited on 8-4-2004 by Banshee]