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Kenya Wants Its Citizens Out of Iraq...

by Blake Cook / July 22, 2004 5:15 AM PDT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - The Kenyan government on Thursday called on all its citizens to leave Iraq immediately, and a government spokesman urged Iraqi militants to free three Kenyan hostages.

A group calling itself "The Holders of the Black Banners," announced Wednesday it had abducted the Kenyans, three Indians and an Egyptian. The group said it would behead a captive every 72 hours beginning Saturday night if their countries do not announce their intentions to withdraw troops and citizens from Iraq.

"We assure them that Kenya has no intent of interfering with the lives of the Iraqi people and that we are discouraging our citizens from participating in work that takes them to Iraq," government spokesman Alfred Mutua said.

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