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Al-Qaeda Claims 'Kidnapping' Of U.S. Marines

2 October 2005 -- A statement posted on a website used by Al-Qaeda claims the group has kidnapped two U.S. Marines in western Iraq.

The statement issues a 24-hour ultimatum to U.S. forces to release female Sunni Muslim prisoners, and suggests the soldiers will be killed if the military fails to comply.

Reuters quotes a spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq, Lieutenant Colonel Steve Boylan, as saying he has no information that any soldiers have gone missing.