Bulgaria and the Philippines say they will not change their policies in Iraq to meet the demands of kidnappers there who have threatened to kill Bulgarian and Philippine hostages.
Militants linked to suspected insurgency leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said Thursday they will kill two Bulgarian truck drivers unless the U.S. military frees all of its Iraqi prisoners within 24 hours.
In another kidnapping, militants threatened Wednesday to kill a Philippine hostage unless the Philippines withdraws its troops from Iraq within 72 hours.
In a separate development, a mortar strike near a central Baghdad hotel used by foreigners killed a six-year-old Iraqi boy. Police say three other people were wounded in the blast.