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Egyptian Diplomat In Iraq Reported Killed

7 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Al-Qaeda's network in Iraq says it has executed a top Egyptian diplomat being held hostage in Iraq.

The organization made the claim in a message posted on the Internet.

Al-Qaeda members claimed responsibility for kidnapping Egyptian envoy Ihab al-Sharif on 2 July in Baghdad.

Egyptian television today quotes family members of the diplomat as confirming al-Sharif's execution. The Arabic language news channel Al-Arabiyah also reports the slaying.

Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi of Al-Azhar, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, had called for the hostage-takers to release the diplomat.