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Turks Abducted on Eve of NATO Summit

Islamists claim to have abducted three Turks in Iraq, and have threatened to kill them unless Turkey withdraws forces from Iraq within 72 hours, according to news reports.

Turkey is not a part of the U.S.-led forces but it has companies and employees in Iraq providing supplies for the coalition troops.

The abduction occurred in the run-up to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in Istanbul. World leaders, including U.S. President George W. Bush, are expected to attend the summit.

The Qatar-based TV station Al-Jazeera received a video tape, purportedly from a group that calls itself Jama’at A-Tawhid Wal-Jihad (the Monotheism and Holy War Group) with the threat.

The kidnappers also urged Turks to stage demonstrations against Bush’s visit during the NATO summit.

The group claimed responsibility for the beheading of South Korean translator Kim Sun-Il last week. Seoul refused to surrender to the abductors’ demand in not sending additional troops to Iraq.

The group is thought to be headed by the Jordanian born Abu Mu’s’ab A-Zarqawi, who has been named in connection with the international Al-Qa’ida organization.

A video showed three men holding what appeared to be passports crouching in front of armed, masked men.