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Four Jordanian Hostages Freed

4 August 2004 -- Four Jordanian truck drivers held hostage in Iraq have reportedly been freed and another militant group said today that they will release two Turkish hostages.

Agencies quoted the relatives as saying that the hostages are now staying with a local elder in the Iraqi town of Al-Fallujah.

A group calling itself the Death Squad of Iraqi Resistance had said it is holding the Jordanians to put pressure on their transport companies to stop cooperation with U.S. forces in Iraq.

The group also urged Arabs to pressure their governments to end support for U.S.-led forces in Iraq.

Meanwhile, a militant group in Iraq today said that it will release two Turkish hostages after their company vowed to
withdraw from the country.

In a message read on the Arab Al-Jazeera satellite television network, the Unity and Holy War group said it had decided to set both truck drivers free. The two men were abducted on 31 July.

Citing security concerns, Turkey's International Truckers Association said two days ago its members had decided to halt deliveries to U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. On 2 August, a Turkish hostage was executed by his kidnappers, prompting his employer to withdraw from Iraq.

In other news, reports say 12 people were killed and 16 wounded in clashes today between insurgents and Iraqi police in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. No U.S. troops appeared to be involved in the clashes.