Kidnappers of Egypt's top envoy in Iraq on Wednesday threatened to execute him because Egypt has allied with "the Jews and Christians," according to a statement posted on a Web site associated with al-Qaeda in Iraq. The statement said "al-Qaeda's religious court" had decided to hand over Ihab al-Sherif, who was seized in Baghdad on Saturday night, to its fighters "to carry out the punishment of apostasy against him."
"The sharia court of the Al-Qaeda in Iraq organization has decided to transfer the apostate ambassador of Egypt, which has allied itself to the Jews and Christians, to the mujahedeen to carry out the punishment of apostasy against him.," the statement said.
Earlier, gunmen killed four policemen and injured at least nine more in separate incidents Wednesday.
In Baghdad, gunmen killed Capt. Hazim Jabbar, a member of the police special commando brigade, in the west of the city, police said. According to The AP, Jabbar had worked as a bodyguard for a consultant to former interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, police said.
Three other police, including two commandoes, died in separate attacks in another west Baghdad neighborhood, police said. Nine police, including a brigadier general, were wounded in a series attacks throughout the capital, officials said.
Also Wednesday, a member of the biggest Shiite militia, the Badr Brigade, was killed in an ambush in south Baghdad, police said. An Iraqi civilian who had been "cooperative" with the Americans was shot dead on his way to work north of Baghdad near Tarmiya, police added.
South of Baghdad, two car bombs killed at least 11 people and wounded 19, police said. The first bomb went off at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday when a parked car exploded at a car dealership in Jbala. A second bomb exploded at the town's entrance, Mezher said.
In another incident, a U.S. soldier was killed Tuesday and two were wounded by a roadside bomb northeast of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. One Iraqi soldier died and three were injured when a suicide car bomber struck their checkpoint late Tuesday 20 miles south of Kirkuk, Iraqi officials said.