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Suicide bombing on bus in Iraq kills 30
Updated: 2005-12-08 19:10

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on Thursday appealed again for communication from a previously unknown group holding four peace activists.

"If the kidnappers want to get in touch with us, we want to hear what they have to say," Straw said in a brief statement outside the prime minister's office. "We have people in Iraq itself and in the region, and they are ready to hear from the kidnappers."

Norman Kember, 74, of London, Tom Fox, 54, of Clear Brook, Va., and Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, were taken hostage in Baghdad two weeks ago. The four members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams were seized by the previously unknown Swords of Righteousness Brigade.

Their kidnappers on Wednesday extended a deadline until Saturday in their threat to kill the four. The captors also posted a video of two of the hostages wearing orange jumpsuits and shackled with chains.

The original deadline set by the group was Thursday. The extension was announced in a statement that accompanied Wednesday's video, according to Al-Jazeera and IntelCenter, a government contractor that does support work for the U.S. intelligence community.

They four are among seven Westerners who have been abducted in Iraq since Nov. 25. The other hostages are an American, a German and a Frenchman.

Videotape of the Christian peace activists provided by IntelCenter to AP Television News showed two men, who were blindfolded and shackled. The men were not identified, but still photos from IntelCenter showed they were Fox and Kember. The two other hostages were not shown.


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