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11 October 2004 -- Iraqi police say seven men believed to belong to one of the largest kidnapping gangs in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk were arrested today in a dawn raid that freed two Iraqi hostages.

A large cache of weapons -- including mortars, automatic rifles, and grenades -- was reportedly seized in the raid on a private home.

Meanwhile, armed men claiming to belong to the militant group of Jordanian-born insurgent leader Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi have appeared in a video on Al-Arabiya television threatening to behead a Turkish hostage. In the videotape, the group demands the "release of all Iraqi prisoners and the departure of all Turkish nationals from Iraq."

In the northern Iraqi city of Mosul today, a suicide car bomber has attacked a U.S. military convoy. Casualty figures are unclear.

In the mostly Shi'a area of Baghdad, news agencies report that militiamen loyal to cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have begun turning in weapons as part of a deal to end fighting there.

(compiled from wire reports)

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