Al Qaeda statement: Algerian diplomats executed in Iraq
Al-Qaeda claimed in an Internet statement on Wednesday that it had killed two Algerian diplomats kidnapped in Iraq last week. "The head of the Algerian mission Ali Belaroussi and the diplomat Azzedine Belkadi, whose government is ruling in violation of God's will, were executed," said the written statement. "We won't forget what Algeria did to Muslims, by killings, destruction and spilling their blood,'' said the statement.
In Algiers, the Presidency of the Republic released a statement following the announcement of the execution, saying: “The unspeakable hideous crime was perpetrated. The abductors have assassinated in a cowardly way our two representatives in Baghdad, Ali Belaroussi and Azzedine Belkadi, carrying out their vile threats in spite of appeals launched everywhere for their release."
A minute of silence will be observed Thursday nationwide, the Algerian prime minister office declared Wednesday in a statement. “A minute of silence will be observed, Thursday July 28, at midday (12h local time) (13h GMT), throughout the country and in Algerian embassies all over the world, at the memory of our two martyrs,” the same satatement indicated.
Earlier, three Iraqis were killed and 37 injured when a mortar round fell on Baghdad's main Allawi bus station on Wednesday. Seven Iraqi soldiers were shot and killed as they were guarding a water plant in the town of Tarmiyah, about 30 miles north of Baghdad, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday, according to The AP.
South of Baghdad, gunmen fired a number of mortar rounds on an Iraqi military base, leaving another 10 people injured, including six soldiers, said Dr. Dawood al-Taie, director of the Mahmoudiya hospital.
Meanwhile, a bus carrying Iraqi factory workers was ambushed by gunmen not far from Baghdad on Tuesday afternoon, killing 16. Reports said that the workers were killed on their way home from work when at least 10 Iraqi gunmen opened fire on the bus.
Eyewitness reports revealed that the gunmen continued shooting at their target repeatedly until they ran short of ammunition. "We were on the bus going home…" Adil Zamal, a worker involved in the shooting told Reuters. "Two cars with about 10 insurgents opened fire on us. We don't know why: we are just workers."
In another act of violence, four US soldier were killed in a roadside bomb on Sunday, bringing the number of deaths in recent days to 20.