Militant group in Iraq says it has killed two Pakistani hostages
Associated Press Writer
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – A militant group holding two Pakistani contractors hostage said Wednesday it has killed the men and freed their Iraqi driver, Al-Jazeera television reported.
The group, calling itself the Islamic Army in Iraq, announced in a video Monday that it had kidnapped two Pakistanis working for U.S. forces and sentenced them to death because their country was discussing sending troops to Iraq.
In a new videotape sent to Al-Jazeera on Wednesday, the men said they had carried out their threat, the station reported. The newsreader said the video showed the corpses of the two men; however, the station declined to show the footage.
The kidnapped men were identified by Pakistan as engineer Raja Azad, 49, and driver Sajad Naeem, 29, both of whom worked for the Kuwait-based al-Tamimi group in Baghdad.
The group said it had released the Iraqi driver, Omar Khaled Selman, after it was clear he had been duped by the Pakistanis.
The video Wednesday showed Selman describing his ordeal.
“After interrogation, they charged us all with the death penalty, and then they postponed mine and carried out the death penalty for the two Pakistanis because it was clear that they were spies,” he said.
“After further interrogation with me, they found out that I was only a driver and they released me,” he said on the video broadcast on Al-Jazeera.