CAIRO, Egypt (AP) – Al-Jazeera television broadcast a videotape Wednesday of armed men holding a Filipino hostage and threatening to kill him if the Philippines does not withdraw its small force from Iraq in three days.

The group claimed to have already killed an Iraqi security guard who was accompanying the Filipino, the newscaster said. The channel did not broadcast any evidence to support the claim, and the videotape gave no details of his capture.

In the video, three armed and masked men stood behind the seated hostage. A banner on the wall behind them identified the captors as a previously unknown group, the Iraqi Islamic Army-Khaled bin al-Waleed Corps.

The videotape displayed a company identity card identifying the hostage as Hafidh Amer of the Philippines. The name suggests he is a Muslim.

Al-Jazeera’s newscaster said Amer is an employee of a Saudi company that works for the U.S. Army. The card was a firearm authorization issued by the Al-Ghadeer Security Service.

In the video, the hostage wore a bright orange garment similar to that worn by the American hostage Nick Berg when he was beheaded by Iraqi militants led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The group’s namesake, Khaled bin al-Waleed, is one of the commanders of the army of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad gave bin al-Waleed the title “Sword of Islam.”

Al-Jazeera spokesman Jihad Ballout said the channel received the videotape Wednesday.

The Philippines has contributed 51 soldiers, police officers and health workers to the multinational force in Iraq.

In addition, about 4,100 Filipinos are working in U.S. military bases in Iraq as cooks, mechanics or in other jobs.

AP-ES-07-07-04 1708EDT



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