Home | News    Friday 30 December 2005

Al-Qaida says kidnapped 5 Sudan embassy workers

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Dec 29, 2005 (CAIRO) — Al-Qaida in Iraq threatened Thursday to kill five kidnapped employees of the Sudanese Embassy in Baghdad in two days unless Khartoum removes its diplomatic mission from Iraq.

The group, which has kidnapped and killed a string of Arab diplomatic personnel this year, said in a statement on a Web forum where al-Qaida in Iraq frequently posts messages it had snatched the five Sudanese, who it said included diplomats.

The claim couldn’t be immediately confirmed. It included no photos of the five and didn’t identify them. The statement didn’t say when the Sudanese were kidnapped.

The Sudanese Foreign Ministry reported Dec. 24 six of its embassy employees were kidnapped, including a diplomat - the mission’s second secretary, Abdel Moneam Mohammad Tom. It wasn’t immediately clear if the al-Qaida statement was referring to the same group.

Al-Qaida in Iraq set a Saturday deadline for Sudan to "announce clearly that it is cutting its relations" with the Iraqi government and "is closing its embassy in Baghdad as well as withdrawing all of its representatives."

"Otherwise, this government will bear the responsibility of presenting their diplomats as sacrifices," the statement said.

The group said it had previously warned Arab nations of its "war against what is called the diplomatic missions in Baghdad," adding that the governments had ignored it, "still getting closer to the infidel Crusaders and Jews."

Al-Qaida in Iraq has kidnapped and killed a string of Arab diplomats and embassy employees in a campaign to scare Arab governments from setting up full diplomatic missions in Iraq - a step seen as a sign of support for the new Iraqi government.

Militants have kidnapped more than 240 foreigners and killed at least 39 of them during the past two years.

(AP/ST)

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