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Iraqi Militants Claim Iranian Diplomat Abducted; Iran Confirms Diplomat Missing - 2004-08-08


A militant group calling itself the "Islamic Army in Iraq" says it has abducted an Iranian diplomat whom it has accused of provoking sectarian strife in Iraq.

In a video tape broadcast Sunday on Arabic television network Al-Arabiyah, the group warned Iran not to interfere in Iraq's affairs. In the video tape, the group issued no threat against diplomat Faridoun Jihani.

The Iranian Embassy in Baghdad says Mr. Jihani disappeared Wednesday while traveling to the central city of Karbala to open an Iranian consulate.

Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti company that employs seven kidnapped foreign truck drivers says it has pulled out of mediated efforts to secure their release and called for direct talks with the abductors instead.

The captives, three Indians, three Kenyans and an Egyptian, were abducted July 21.

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

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