My God, our brothers in Australia are taking it hard the past few days. First the Jakarta embassy bombing
and now reports
of two Australian hostages taken by a new group calling itself the Horror Brigades
A statement, purportedly from the militant Islamic Secret Army, gave the Federal Government a 24-hour deadline to pull its troops out of Iraq.
Handed out in the Sunni Muslim insurgent bastion of Samarra, the statement claimed the Australians and two men from east Asia had been kidnapped.
A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said: "We are moving heaven and earth to get more information".
The statement from the so-called Horror Brigades read: "One of our brave brigades ambushed civilian cars belonging to the American army on the motorway from Baghdad to (the main northern city of) Mosul.
Yeah you're brave alright. Attacking innocent workers who have no means to defend themselves. The report continues.
"It took four prisoners, two Australians and two east Asian nationals who were working as security contractors for important people," it said. "We tell the infidels of Australia that they have 24 hours to leave Iraq or the two Australians will be killed without a second chance."
"The (Australian) Prime Minister must announce the withdrawal personally if he is concerned about his two citizens," the statement said.
The self-styled Horror Brigades calls itself the northern armed wing of the Secret Islamic Army.
A unit of this group, the Holders of the Black Banners, claimed the execution of two Pakistani hostages in late July.
Other coverage at In Search Of Utopia
and My Pet Jawa