British hostage Margaret Hassan has urged her country to withdraw its troops from Iraq in a new videotape aired on Arabic television channel al-Jazeera.

In the tape, Ms. Hassan, the country director in Iraq for aid organization CARE International, also urged her employer to close its Baghdad office, and called for the release of all female hostages in Iraq.

Ms. Hassan was kidnapped by unknown gunmen last Tuesday in Baghdad.

Meanwhile, Japan says it will not bow to terrorists and withdraw its 550 humanitarian troops in Iraq to save a Japanese hostage threatened with death by loyalists of wanted terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

And, Paris-based aid group Action Against Hunger announced (today/Wednesday) it is suspending its operations in Iraq because of the deteriorating security situation.