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Iraqi Militants Kidnap Egyptian Diplomat

23 July 2004 -- Militants in Iraq have kidnapped an Egyptian diplomat.

Al-Jazeera television today broadcast video footage showing militants who say they kidnapped the Egyptian diplomat because the Egyptian government is preparing to deploy security experts in Iraq.

The video from a group called the Lions of Allah Brigade shows the diplomat seated in front of six masked kidnappers.

The Egyptian Embassy in Baghdad confirmed that one of its diplomats had been taken hostage.

In Iraq today, a group threatening to behead seven foreign hostages has issued a new deadline to their Kuwaiti employer to meet their demands, along with some new demands.

The group originally set a deadline of 24 July, saying that it would start to behead one hostage every 72 hours if its demands went unmet.