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4 January 2006 -- Islamic militants holding captive nine Iranian soldiers are reportedly threatening to kill them unless Tehran releases some of their members from prison.
The Arabic satellite television channel Al-Arabiya on 4 January broadcast a video purportedly showing the soldiers, whose abduction near the Pakistani border was first reported on 1 January. Their kidnapping was confirmed by Iranian authorities on 2 January.
The videotape was broadcast with no sound. However, the newscaster said that a spokesman for the militant group Jundollah, or God's Soldiers, said the soldiers would be killed unless Iran released 16 members of the group from prison.
An unidentified producer at Al-Arabiya's headquarters in the United Arab Emirates told AP that the threat to kill the soldiers was audible on the tape, but the speaker was not shown.
He added that the channel had received the tape on 4 January.