BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — Insurgents who kidnapped an American
civilian threatened in a videotape released Saturday to kill and
mutilate him unless U.S. forces withdraw from the city of
Fallujah.

From the AP
Thomas Hamill, an American civilian captured during an ambush west of Baghdad, is shown in a video given to Al-Jazeera TV network by insurgents holding him hostage. (AP PHOTO)

Meanwhile, insurgents holding three Japanese hostage said they
would be freed in 24 hours. The captors had threatened to burn the
civilians alive unless Japan pulled its troops out of Iraq, a
demand Japan refused.

The tape of the American, broadcast on the Arab TV station
Al-Jazeera, showed him identifying himself as Thomas Hamill, 43,
from Mississippi. In other footage with no audio, he stood in front
of an Iraqi flag, his expression calm but wary as his captors
announced their threat on his life.

A voice-over read by an Al-Jazeera announcer quoted Hamill as
saying he was being treated well and that he works for a
“private company that supports the military
action.”

His wife, Kellie, contacted at their home in Macon, Miss.,
confirmed that her husband had been captured. She said he works for
the Houston-based engineering and construction company Kellogg,
Brown & Root, a division of Halliburton, and referred all other
comment to the employer.

“I am in good shape,” the voice-over quoted Hamill
as saying. “They were good to me. They gave me antibiotics. I
have no idea what is going on Fallujah. I hear there is a siege and
people are living in some sort of prison. … I hope to return
home one day, and I want my family to know that these people are
taking care of me, and provide me with food, water and a place to
sleep.”

Hamill stood in front of the red-white-and-black Iraqi flag, its
emblazoned slogan “God is great” prominent above his
head. His eyes darted back and forth, but he appeared calm.

His captors warned he would meet a worse fate than four American
civilians killed in Fallujah on March 31, unless U.S. forces end
their assault on the city.

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