German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on the kidnappers of a German woman taken hostage in Iraq to release her immediately.

Ms. Merkel told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper the government is doing all it can to rescue Susanne Osthoff and her Iraqi driver, who disappeared nine days ago, on November 25.

The kidnappers said they would kill the woman if Germany does not end all support for the Iraqi government.

The magazines Der Spiegel and Focus reported that the ultimatum expired in the early hours of Friday.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Saturday that Germany had not been able to establish contact with the kidnappers.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.