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German Foreign Minister Steinmeier pictured on 24 January responding to the kidnapping of two Germans in Iraq. (epa)
5 February 2006 -- The German government and leaders of the country's Muslim organizations have appealed for the release of two German engineers who were taken hostage in Iraq on 24 January.
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the radio station Deutschlandfunk that the Germany authorities have so far been unable to establish contact with the kidnappers.
In an interview with the weekly "Bild am Sonntag," the head of the Islamic Council of Germany, Ali Kizilkaya, said the abductors were discrediting Islam.
The kidnappers have threatened to kill the two German engineers unless Germany cuts off all links to Iraq.