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.