Halliburton employee kidnapped in Baghdad

Worker for US-based construction firm, Kellogg, Brown & Root kidnapped as Iraqi rebels attempt to put a stop to attacks on besieged city of Falluja

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By  Rhys Jones Published  April 17, 2004

An American man who works for US engineering and construction firm, Kellogg, Brown & Root, a division of the Halliburton conglomerate, was kidnapped last week when a supply convoy was attacked west of Baghdad. Speaking to journalists as he was whisked away by masked gunmen, he said his name was Thomas Hamill. His captors later released video footage of him, along with the warning that he would be killed unless US forces ended their assault on the besieged city of Falluja. His wife, contacted at their home in the US confirmed that he was 43-year-old Thomas Hamill of Macon, Mississippi and that he worked for KBR. Iraqi kidnappers said in a tape aired on an Arabic television last week that they would kill and maim a US hostage they had seized unless American forces lifted the siege of Falluja. “Up to now your prisoner is being dealt with in the tolerant manner specified by Islamic law. Our one request is to break the siege of the city of the mosques (Falluja) during the 12 hours from six o’clock on Saturday (10 April) evening,” a voice on a tape shown on Qatar-based Al Jazeera said. “If not, he will be dealt with worse than those who were killed and burned in Falluja,” the voice added in the tape, which also showed the man in front of the red, white and blackIraqi flag. Al Jazeera said the man also identified himself as Thomas Hamill in the tape it received from the group, whose name was given as the ‘Mujahideen Group - Kidnappings.’ Hamill confirmed that he worked for a private company, which had dealings with the US-led coalition in Iraq. Al Jazeera said Hamill, who looked to be in good condition, said he was the only survivor of an ambush on his convoy. The Pentagon has said that several civilian contractors and two US soldiers have gone missing after a military fuel convoy was ambushed on the main highway west of Baghdad. Civilians are widely employed by the US military in Iraq, as truck drivers and security guards as well as filling a range of other positions. In addition to these confirmed kidnappings, five westerners appear to have gone missing. Two are German security officials from their embassy in Baghdad. They were last seen when their diplomatic convoy was attacked as they traveled to Jordan.

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