Iraq: Russian hostages executed
An al-Qaeda-linked group posted a Web video Sunday showing the killings of three Russian embassy workers kidnapped earlier this month in Iraq. A fourth also was said to have been killed.
An accompanying statement by the Mujahedeen Shura Council said all four Russians were executed.
The 90-second video, posted on an Islamic Web site showed the beheading of two blindfolded men and the shooting of a third. In the footage, two men clad in black and wearing black ski masks shout "God is great!" before beheading the first man. Then one militant appears standing over the decapitated body of a second victim lying in a pool of blood, with the head placed on top of the body.
The footage of the beheading victims shows a closed room with white walls. "God's verdict has been carried out on the Russian diplomats ... in revenge for the torture, killing and expulsion of our brothers and sisters by the infidel Russian government," the statement said.
The video begins with a verse from the Quran appearing in white letters on a black screen, and a voice reading "Those who aggress on you, you aggress on them."
One at a time, the four men appear on camera, staring ahead and speaking in Russian. Then the camera cuts to the killings.
Attacks and kidnapping
At least three people died and seven injured when a bomb went off inside a busy wholesale clothing market in central Baghdad. According to AFP, the explosion happened at about 11:30 am (0730 GMT) in the "Tahet al-Takya" section of the capital's Shorga market, an interior ministry official said Sunday.
Meanwhile, at least 16 Iraqis, most of them working at a scientific research centre north of Baghdad, have been abducted by gunmen. The incident reported in Taji, 30 kilometers north of Baghdad.
The 16 people, including 10 employees of the Taji research centre, were transporting goods from Baghdad to the centre when they were ambushed by gunmen on the main road between the two cities. They were travelling in more than one truck, an official said.