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Iraq Urges Arab Nations to Open Missions, Fight Terrorism

Iraq has urged its neighbors to open diplomatic missions in Baghdad despite a warning from al-Qaida in Iraq that it will kill Arab diplomats in the country.

An Iraqi foreign ministry statement released Friday said the apparent assassination of an Egyptian Ambassador Ihab al-Sherif Thursday by al-Qaida militants was intended to scare Arab and Muslim countries from deepening ties with Iraq.

The government urged Western and Arab nations to help Iraq fight terrorists in the country, saying the international community would be subject to blackmail if easily intimidated.

Al-Qaida in Iraq claimed in a web posting that it killed the Egyptian ambassador and would go after as many ambassadors as it could to punish countries supporting Iraq's U.S.-backed government. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak later confirmed the death of the ambassador.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.