DUBAI, Oct 13: A group loyal to wanted Jordanian militant Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi posted a video on the Internet Wednesday showing the beheading of two men it claimed were in the Iraqi intelligence service.
A group of armed and masked men held each of the two hostages on the floor while one militant beheaded them with a machete after reading a statement accusing them of working for Iraqi intelligence.
Behind them was a banner reading Tawhid wal Jihad (Unity and Holy War), Zarqawi's group which has been behind a string of deadly attacks and beheading of hostages in Iraq.
Hostages Qazim Ibrahim Jamal and Lutfi al-Jaburi appeared in front of the camera wearing badges indicating they were members of the Iraqi intelligence. They called upon their "Iraqi brothers who were deceived into joining the (Iraqi) armed forces...to return to the path of Allah."
Jamal said he was captured on Sept 28 in Baghdad. "It is an embarrassment for our (Muslim) nation to include such a criminal...It is inevitable to eliminate such obstacles in order to reinstate the honour of our religion," the statement read before the decapitation of each of the two captives said.
Another video posted Tuesday on the Internet by the Army of Ansar Al-Sunna showed the beheading of a Shiite Iraqi man accused of spying for US forces. He was accused of being a member of the movement led by the radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr.
Two days earlier, another two men identified as Turkish contractor and an Iraqi Kurdish translator were shown being decapitated, also apparently by Ansar Al-Sunna, after "confessing" that they worked for US forces in Iraq. It warned that anyone who worked with American forces would meet the same fate as the two victims.
Lebanese freed: Two Lebanese working in Iraq who went missing almost a month ago were released on Wednesday, saying they had been held in Fallujah by militants from the group of Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi.
"We were held by the Tawhid wal Jihad (Unity and Holy War)," Sharbel Karam al-Haj, 31, told AFP at the Lebanese embassy in Baghdad. Meanwhile, two French journalists taken hostage in Iraq in August are still alive, and 'indirect' negotiations have resumed to try to free them, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told officials and party leaders in Paris on Wednesday. -AFP