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Iraqi Militant Group Reportedly Kills Turkish Hostages


2 September 2004 -- Al-Jazeera television reported today that a militant group claimed it has killed three Turks it was holding hostage in Iraq.

The Arabic-language news channel gave no further details.

It was not clear whether the group -- which called itself Jama'at Al-Tawhid wa Al-Jihad -- was the same as the group with a similar name led by Jordanian Abu al-Zarqawi, who is suspected of being an Al-Qaeda operative.

Today, Iraqi police said they found the bodies of three men near the town of Samarra. Police said two of the men were Turkish nationals, but their identities were not immediately clear.

Militant groups in Iraq have abducted dozens of foreigners in an effort to drive coalition forces and contractors out of Iraq. Abductors have killed some 25 hostages.

(compiled from agency reports)

For the latest news on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".
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