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Kidnappers Threaten to Transfer Hostage to Zarqawi Group

The kidnappers of aid worker Margaret Hassan are reportedly threatening to turn her over to a group led by militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi unless Britain withdraws its troops from Iraq.

The Arabic language television network al-Jazeera aired a portion of a new videotape Tuesday showing a masked gunman. It refused to show the entire tape for what it calls humanitarian reasons.

An Associated Press report says the tape contains footage of Ms. Hassan, who was born in Ireland and holds Iraqi and British citizenship, pleading for her life and then collapsing.

Al-Jazeera says the kidnappers are giving Britain 48 hours to meet their demands. The Zarqawi group has beheaded a number of western and Asian hostages.

Ms. Hassan, who works for CARE International, was kidnapped from the charity's Baghdad office October 19.

Some information provided by AFP and Reuters.