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Algeria Confirms Murder of Two Envoys to Iraq

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has confirmed that two Algerian diplomats in Iraq have been killed by their kidnappers.

The president issued a statement Wednesday calling the murders a "cowardly" act. He did not say what evidence the government has that proves Algerian mission chief Ali Belaroussi and attaché Azzedine Belkadi have been killed.

Earlier Wednesday, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's terrorist group, al-Qaida in Iraq, said in an Internet statement that it had killed the two diplomats, who were abducted last Thursday in Baghdad. No videotape or pictures of the alleged killings accompanied the statement.

In New York, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned the killings as "brutal and barbaric," and he said every effort must be made to bring the killers to justice.

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