Malcolm Wood (l) and his brother Vernon
The brothers of an Australian man being held hostage by Iraqi militants are making a personal plea for his life.

Malcolm and Vernon Wood made a videotaped appeal on behalf of their brother Douglas that was broadcast on the Arabic television network al-Jazeera Wednesday.

They asked for their brother's release because he is suffering from a serious heart condition.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer made a similar comment in an earlier interview on al-Jazeera.

A video tape released last Sunday showed Mr. Wood pleading for his life while being held at gunpoint.

Australia has sent a task force to Iraq to help secure Mr. Wood's release, but Canberra says it will not negotiate with the kidnappers, and will not give in to their demands to pull its troops out of Iraq.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.