BAGHDAD — Iraqi insurgents Tuesday released a second video of two distraught German hostages pleading for their lives and appealing to their government to meet their captors' demands.
Meanwhile, Iraqi authorities announced a shortening of the capital's overnight curfew, calling it a sign that an intensive security crackdown in Baghdad by U.S. and Iraqi troops is yielding results.
The city's residents will now have to stay indoors after 10 p.m. instead of 8 p.m.
Word of the shortened curfew came hours after the kidnappers of German nationals Hannelore Krause, 61, and her 20-year-old son, Sinan, posted a video on the Internet in which they displayed the hostages anew and set what they said was a 10-day deadline for Germany to agree to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. The first video, posted March 10, also set a 10-day deadline for the troop withdrawal.
"You don't know what we are going through," a sobbing Krause, clad in a head scarf and black robe, said in German on the 5 1/2-minute videotape. "I'm so scared -- we have just a couple of days.... Do something!" Her son cried along with her.
Krause, who is married to an Iraqi doctor and has lived in Baghdad for years, was seized from her home Feb. 6 along with her son. She works for the Austrian Embassy in Baghdad, and her son, a citizen of Iraq and Germany, is employed by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.
The kidnappers are a previously unknown Islamist group calling themselves the Brigades of the Arrows of Righteousness.
Germany has no troops in Iraq, but its soldiers serve in Afghanistan with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Abductions are common in Iraq. About 400 foreigners and thousands of Iraqis have been seized since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Sometimes the kidnappers are insurgents; sometimes they are criminal gangs seeking ransom.
In the northern city of Kirkuk, residents on Tuesday salvaged belongings from dozens of buildings damaged by a powerful truck bomb that killed up to 15 people and injured about 150.
A U.S. soldier died of wounds suffered in the blast, the military announced late Monday. Many of the wounded and at least one of the dead were pupils from a nearby girls primary school. At least 3,257 U.S. troops have died since the start of the war, according to icasualties.org.
Also on Monday, a Republican congressional delegation, including Arizona Sen. John McCain, visited Al Anbar province, west of Baghdad.
At least eight Iraqis were killed in scattered violence Tuesday. Several attacks occurred in the capital amid a 7-week-old campaign of heightened security by U.S. and Iraqi troops.
Also Tuesday, 10 male bodies were discovered in various sections of Baghdad. In the town of Hillah, south of Baghdad, a mortar blast killed a teenager playing soccer.
Times staff writers Saif Hameed, Wail Alhafith and Suhail Ahmad contributed to this report.