Al-Qaida in Iraq threatens to kill five kidnapped Sudanese Embassy employees in two days |

Al-Qaida in Iraq threatens to kill five kidnapped Sudanese Embassy employees in two days

Associated Press Writer

CAIRO, Egypt – Al-Qaida in Iraq threatened on Thursday to kill five kidnapped employees of the Sudanese Embassy in Baghdad in two days unless Sudan 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 that it had snatched the five Sudanese, who it said included diplomats.The claim could not be immediately confirmed. It included no photos of the five and did not identify them. The statement did not say when the Sudanese were kidnapped.The Sudanese Foreign Ministry reported on Dec. 24 that six of its embassy employees were kidnapped, including a diplomat – the mission’s second secretary, Abdel Moneam Mohammad Tom. It was not immediately clear if the al-Qaida statement was referring to the same group.Later Thursday, the Qatari-based Al-Jazeera satellite channel showed footage it said it received from the kidnappers, showing the five Sudanese sitting on chairs, talking to the camera, but no audio was heard. The videotape also showed ID documents from the Sudanese Embassy, but the names could not be discerned.Meanwhile in Iraq, gunmen abducted a Lebanese engineer Thursday, the Lebanese Foreign Ministry said. Camile Nassif Tannous, who works for the Schneider engineering firm, was kidnapped “in Iraq in the past few hours,” the ministry said in Beirut, giving no further details.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.There was no immediate response from the Sudanese government.The terror 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 that is seen as a sign of support for the new Iraqi government.In July, al-Qaida abducted the top Egyptian envoy in Baghdad, Ihab al-Sherif, and two Algerian diplomats. It later announced they had been killed. The group also snatched two Moroccan embassy employees in June and said that it had sentenced them to death, though it never stated whether it carried out the sentences.The abduction of the Lebanese engineer came as another Lebanese kidnapped in Iraq was released. The Lebanese Foreign Ministry said Assad Hussein Younis was freed by his captors but it gave no details.Vail, Colorado

Support Local Journalism