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Unknown Militants Claim Kidnapping Of Turkish Workers In Iraq

Unknown militants have claimed the kidnapping of 18 Turkish workers in Baghdad and issued a list of demands they said Turkey must fulfil for the workers to be released.

A video posted online on September 11, showed the 18 workers seated in front of five militants in black masks and machineguns.

The workers identified themselves and gave their hometowns.

The group demanded that Turkey halt the flow of militants into Iraq, stop the passage of oil from Iraq's northern Kurdish region via Turkish territory, and lift what's described as a "siege" on Syrian towns and villages, mainly inhabited by Shi'ites.

The militants, who identified themselves as Furaq al-Mawt, or Death Squads, threatened to harm Turkish interests in Iraq if their demands are not met.

The authenticity of the video could not be verified.

The workers were kidnapped on September 2 from a sports stadium under construction in northern Baghdad.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters, and dpa