A new videotape showing three of the four hostage Christian Peacemaker activists aired Tuesday on Arab television, but American Tom Fox was not in the footage.
Iraq's president, meanwhile, postponed a decision on when to call the new parliament into session after the dominant Shiite alliance requested a delay to resolve a deadlock over the composition of a new government.
A recent surge of sectarian violence has complicated the already snarled negotiations to form a government reflecting Iraq's main ethnic and religious communities, which the United States and its allies hope will stabilize the country so they can start reducing troop numbers. Scattered bombings, mortar blast and gunfire claimed another 11 lives Tuesday.
The Chicago-based Christian Peacemaker Teams said it did not know what to make of Fox's absence from the 25-second, silent videotape broadcast by Al-Jazeera television.