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Russia Offers Reward for Information on Killers of Embassy Workers in Iraq


Russia is offering a $10-million reward for information that leads to the killers of four embassy employees taken hostage and killed in Iraq.

Local media reports say Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Federal Security Service, announced the offer Friday in Moscow.

The four Russians were abducted in Baghdad in early June. On Sunday, their captors posted a video of their killing on the Internet.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to find and destroy the killers.

In other news, Romanian President Traian Basescu says Romania will not pull its troops out of Iraq.

Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu proposed the withdrawal Thursday because of what he said was the human and financial cost of the deployment. But President Basescu said today that Romania's Supreme Defense Council rejected the move.

The president said Romania cannot change its foreign policy overnight. Romania has 890 troops in Iraq.

The United States had expressed surprise at reports that Romania might withdraw its troops. A State Department spokesman, Adam Ereli, said Washington was not informed of the plans.

Under Romanian law, the Supreme Defense Council, chaired by the president, has the power to decide on such a withdrawal.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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