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Turkish man executed in Iraq

August 03, 2004

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ANKARA, Aug 2: A Turkish national has been executed by his kidnappers in Iraq, officials said on Monday, as a video posted on Islamic websites showed the hostage being shot three times in the head by masked men.

"We confirm that a Turkish national has been assassinated," a Turkish embassy official in Baghdad told AFP. The victim's employer, a catering company called Bilintur, confirmed that one of their staff members, Murat Yuce, had been killed.

Another two Turks, both truck drivers, are still being held in Iraq by a group affiliated to suspected Al-Qaeda- linked operative Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi's group. In the video posted on websites a hostage who identifies himself as Murat Yuce is seen blindfolded and being shot in the head by one of three hooded gunmen as they shout Allaho Akbar.

The video earlier showed Yuce reading a statement urging Turkish firms to pull out of Iraq. A statement read out by one of the gunmen said the "apostate" would be executed because of Ankara's failure to heed calls to stop "aiding the (US) occupier" in Iraq. A Turkish truckers' organization announced it was stopping transporting goods to US forces in Iraq. -AFP