Five Sudanese embassy employees 'kidnapped in Iraq'

Al-Qaida in Iraq today claimed to have kidnapped five employees of the Sudanese Embassy in Baghdad and threatened to kill them unless Sudan removes its diplomatic mission from Iraq.

The claim, posted on a web forum where al-Qaida in Iraqi frequently posts messages, could not be immediately confirmed. It included no photos of the five and did not identify them.

The group 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.

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.

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