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Russia's Foreign Ministry is uncertain that a recording of the purported execution of four Russian diplomats abducted in Iraq really showed the embassy staff
Russia's Foreign Ministry is uncertain that a recording of the purported execution of four Russian diplomats abducted in Iraq really showed the embassy staff, the minister said Monday. "We saw the video placed on the Web site of the organization that claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of our people," Sergei Lavrov said adding that the video dated mid-June. He also said the video featured the embassy officials who identified themselves. "A scene of the execution of several people was shown later but we are not 100% certain that it was them," he said. Lavrov added that experts were currently examining the video. Russian diplomat Vitaly Titov was killed during the attack on an embassy car in the capital of Iraq. The kidnappers seized Fyodor Zaitsev, third secretary of the embassy, and also diplomats Rinat Agliulin, Anatoly Smirnov and Oleg Fedoseyev. On Sunday, Arab television channel Al Jazeera reported referring to an Internet statement made by al-Qaeda in Iraq that terrorists had executed the four employees of the Russian Embassy in revenge for what they claimed was "the torture, killing and expulsion of our brothers and sisters by the infidel Russian government" in Chechnya. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said last week that the Mujahideen Shura Council, a group linked to the al-Qaeda cell in Iraq that had claimed responsibility for the abduction, had sentenced the diplomats to death. The Foreign Ministry made several appeals for the immediate release of four diplomats, saying that they were "representatives of the Russian people, who have never waged a war against Islam anywhere." The speaker of the Russian parliament's upper chamber earlier said talks to free the diplomats had produced some progress.
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