Al-Qaida threatens to kill 9 captured Iraqi troops

An Al-Qaida front organization threatened in a video released Tuesday to kill nine abducted Iraqi security officers in 72 hours unless their demands were met, including the release of all Sunni women from Iraqi prisons. The video showed the five army officers and four policemen, lined up in a room, their hands bound, in front of a black banner of the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group of Iraqi insurgent groups, including al-Qaida in Iraq. The nine each give their names and ranks, and several of them called on their comrades to quit the security forces. "I ask my brothers to leave work with the military and return to their religion," said a lieutenant colonel, the highest ranking officer among the men. The Islamic State of Iraq claimed in a statement put out a day earlier that it had abducted the nine in Diyala province, north of Baghdad. There was no immediate confirmation from the government that the men were seized.