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Militants in Iraq Abduct Egyptian Diplomat - 2004-07-23


A militant group in Iraq has kidnapped an Egyptian diplomat in response to Cairo's offer to provide Iraq with security expertise.

The diplomat was identified as Mohammed Qutb. Shortly after Arabic television channel Al-Jazeera broadcast a video from the kidnappers, Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit stressed his country had no plans to send troops to Iraq.

Meanwhile, another group of militants holding three Kenyans, three Indians and an Egyptian are now demanding compensation be paid to the families of those killed in clashes with U.S. forces in Fallujah.

Militants in Iraq have beheaded several foreign hostages over the past few weeks.

Radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who led an uprising against Iraqi and coalition forces, condemned militants for the beheadings. He said the beheading of prisoners is illegal under Islamic law.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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