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Two Pakistanis, Iraqi kidnapped


July 26, 2004


Photo by the CNN

Baghdad, Iraq :A previously unknown militant group has announced it has kidnapped two Pakistanis and one Iraqi, according to a videotape broadcast by Arabic language network Al-Jazeera. 

The group calling itself Islamic Army in Iraq said all three men were employees of a Kuwaiti company known as the Al-Tamimi Group. 

In the video, broadcast Monday, it said both Pakistanis were working for U.S. forces -- one as a technician and the other as a driver. 

The group said the Iraqi transported food to hotels were Americans lived. 

On the video, the kidnappers said the Pakistanis would be executed if their president, Pervez Musharraf, sent Pakistani forces to Iraq.

Previously, Musharraf has said he might send troops to Iraq if asked to by the interim Iraqi government. 

The kidnappers said they would keep the Iraqi hostage until he can be properly interrogated. The Pakistani employees will be held until Al-Tamimi stops its operations in Kuwait. 

On Sunday, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry confirmed that two of its nationals had gone missing in Iraq while they were on their way to Baghdad.

The men, identified as Raja Azad, an engineer, and Sajjad Naeem, a driver, went missing on Friday when a convoy of two trucks was attacked, one of Azad's cousins told Pakistani television station Geo.

The Pakistanis were riding in the first truck. This was captured, but the second truck turned back and reported the incident, Amjad Yousaf said. He did not explain who told him this.

"We appeal for prayers for the well being and safety of our brother," Yousaf told Geo.

Masood Khan, a spokesman for Pakistan's Foreign Ministry, said Pakistanis should not go to Iraq until the security situation improves there.


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