First Published: 2005-10-26

 
Zarqawi claims kidnapping of Moroccan embassy employees
 

Rabat is to send diplomatic mission to Baghdad to help search effort for Boualam, El Mouhafidi.

 

Middle East Online

They are both married to Iraqi women

DUBAI - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's Al-Qaeda group on Wednesday claimed responsibility in an Internet statement for the kidnapping of two employees of the Moroccan embassy in Baghdad.

"Your brothers in the military branch of the Al-Qaeda group (in Iraq) have detained two Moroccans, working for the Moroccan embassy in Baghdad," the statement on the group's website and signed by the group's spokesman Abu Maissara Al-Iraqi said.

The authenticity of the statement could not be verified.

Earlier the Moroccan foreign affairs ministry said that the two employees had disappeared on the road between the Jordanian capital Amman and Baghdad -- a road widely feared for repeated kidnappings carried out by ordinary criminals or insurgents.

The embassy identified the pair as driver Abderrahim Boualam and agent Abdelkrim El Mouhafidi.

In the Internet statement the group said that the two Moroccans "were still being questioned".

It reaffirmed the group's commitment to "continuing the Jihad (Holy war) and the fight against the enemies of God... to victory or martyrdom", giving neither the motive for the kidnapping, nor the subject matter of the questioning.

The new claim came a day after Al-Zarqawi's group claimed responsibility for a triple attack on Baghdad hotels that killed 17 people, according to a statement also posted on an Islamist web site.

The blasts hit early Monday evening as Muslims sat down to break the daytime fast observed during the holy month of Ramadan.

The Jordanian-born Zarqawi is Iraq's most-wanted man and has a 25 million dollar US bounty on his head.

The Iraqi branch of Al-Qaeda also claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and killing six days later of two Algerian diplomats, Ali Belaroussi, 62, and Azzedine Belkadi, 47, in Baghdad on July 21.

On July 7, the same group said it had killed the Egyptian charge d'affaires in Baghdad, Ihab al-Sherif, who was kidnapped five days earlier.

Egyptian authorities took the claim seriously even though his body was never found.

On June 24 Moroccan news agency Map had said, quoting a foreign ministry source, that Rabat was going to send a new ambassador to Baghdad.

Morocco is currently represented in the Iraqi capital by its charge d'affaires Abdelkrim Sadeq.

Rabat was to send a three-man diplomatic mission to Baghdad on Tuesday to help the search effort.

The two Moroccans are married to Iraqi women, the ministry said.

 

US, Russia split on Syria’s Aleppo carnage

Gunman kills prominent writer on steps of courthouse in Jordan

Trump says he'll recognize Jerusalem as Israel's 'undivided' capital

British FM begins key Turkey visit

Famous archway collapses on Moroccan beach

Qatari official banned from AFC vote

Death toll from Egypt migrant shipwreck jumps to 168

Warplanes pound Aleppo ahead of UN Syria meeting

Dubai drops charges against Briton who promoted charity

Israel sentences Islamic cleric for incitement

Turkey sets precondition for joining US Raqa operation

Campaigning for parliamentary polls begins in Morocco

EU mission to train Libya coastguard faces delay

Mosul offensive to start in ‘next few weeks’

New wave of air strikes pummels Aleppo

US, Russia trade blame for collapse of ceasefire in Syria

Hadi vows to ‘extract Yemen from claws of Iran’

Obama vetoes bill allowing 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia

Morocco asks to rejoin African Union

Air raids pound rebel-held Aleppo

Turkey arrests prominent writer brothers

Egypt shipwreck death toll rises to 133

Gulen says will return to Turkey if US backs extradition

Occupation troops shoot, wound Palestinian with knife

UN eyes alternate aid delivery route for Syria's Aleppo

Iran condemns Saudi strikes in Yemen

Turkey's Erdogan says US arming Syrian Kurds

Obama to block Saudi 9/11 prosecution

Oil prices ease as focus shifts to producers' meeting

Opposition 'minister' among 12 dead in Syria car bomb

'13 dead' in clashes with IS in Libya's Sirte

20 civilians killed in Yemen rebel port raid

Turkish border town hit by rocket fired from Syria

Syria's White Helmets win Swedish human rights prize

UN pleads with Assad over food aid stuck at Syria border

Rouhani jabs USA over nuclear deal in UN address

Dozens more feared dead in Egypt boat tragedy

US breaks 'taboo' on Iran trade, banking

Kuwait MP gets new jail term for insulting Gulf rulers

Kuwait MPs demand urgent debate on petrol price hike

Dozens of rebels leave Homs under deal with Assad regime

Push for Iraq's Mosul faces myriad challenges

US drone strike kills 3 Qaeda suspects in Yemen

UN hopes Syria talks can resume in a 'few weeks'

Iraq forces recapture northern town from ISIS