Sunday, June 25, 2006

Russian diplomatic personnel beheaded in Iraq by al Qaeda

al Qaeda claimed to have killed four Russian diplomtic employees today and posted video footage on the Internet showing the killing of three men it said were Russian hostages seized in Iraq earlier this month.

The images, posted on a Web site often used by militants, showed two masked militants beheading of a man and the "execution" of another by shooting. It also showed the beheaded body of a third.

No one knows anything about the fourth hostage yet.

"This is the video for carrying out God's ruling against the Russian diplomats which we present to heal the hearts of believers and in revenge for our brothers and sisters for the torture and killing they receive at the hands of the infidel Russian government," al Qaeda said in a statement posted on the site.

Before the killings, the video showed tht four men against a dark red backdrop speaking Russian in statements dated June 13.

In their statements, the bearded men identified themselves and described the nature of their jobs at the Russian mission in Iraq -- a third secretary, a cook, a driver and a guard.

The Mujahideen Shura Council defended the killings as an eye-for-an-eye measure, citing a verse of the Koran -- Islam's holy book -- which says: "Those who assault you, you shall assault with the same (form) of assault."

"Beggar scholars (affiliated with governments) will speak that slaughtering infidels is sacrilegious and so on. We tell them that this is the book of God, which will be the judge," its statement said.

I just love the Religion of Peace, don't you?

The Council, an umbrella group led by Iraq's al Qaeda wing, had demanded that Russia withdraw its troops from Chechnya and release all Muslim prisoners. They apparently decided to kill the men after their demands weren't met.

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