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Militant group claims to have beheaded Iraqi contractor working at American base

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ A militant group in Iraq claimed in an Internet statement posted Saturday that it abducted and beheaded an Iraqi construction contractor working on a U.S. military base.

The authenticity of the statement could not be verified. A video released with the statement showed a man being decapitated,.

The statement from the Ansar al-Sunnah Army said it killed Barie Nafie Dawoud Ibrahim, who was described as ``one of the biggest contractors'' who had worked on water, sewage and air conditioning projects at the Al-Taji base north of Baghdad.

It said that after interrogation Ibrahim had ``confessed to all the work and projects he had carried out at al-Taji ... after that the (holy fighters) executed God's law by slaughtering him.'' The group vowed to track down those working for U.S. troops ``one after the other.''

The same group has claimed responsibility for the killing of 12 Nepalese workers and three Iraqi Kurds. The militant's Web site on Aug. 31 showed 11 of the Nepalese hostages being shot and one beheaded.

Saturday's video showed a man identified as Ibrahim, who was dressed in a white T-shirt and black pants, holding up an identification card giving him access to the American base where he said he had worked since June.

Then someone _ his hands along visible in the footage _ beheaded the man and placed his severed head on his back.

More than 140 foreigners have been kidnapped in Iraq since April by a spectrum of groups, with some holding them for ransom and others setting political conditions for their release. At least 26 hostages have been killed.

Many Iraqis have been kidnapped, mostly for ransom, and an unknown number working for Americans have been killed by different militant groups.
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