Qaeda-led group "executes" five Iraqi officers-Web

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DUBAI, Sep 22 (Reuters) An Iraqi al Qaeda-led group, the Islamic State in Iraq, has shot dead five abducted Iraqi army officers and posted a video of the execution-style killings on the Internet today.

The footage, posted on a Web site used by insurgents in Iraq, showed a masked gunman shooting the blindfolded officers in the head with a pistol at what seemed to be a secluded area.

The officers said they were captured by the ''fighters'' of the Islamic State in Iraq in the town of Baquba, capital of Diyala province, where US forces had recently carried out an operation against al-Qaeda and other Sunni militants.

''I advise the police and army to quit this job,'' one of the officers said while seated in front of a camera.

The group said the execution showed that the US government and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki were losing the battle in Iraq.

''The al-Maliki government thought its army could achieve what was not achieved by the strongest army in the world,'' the group, which is believed to be a front for the main al Qaeda network in Iraq, said in an on-screen statement.

''This is a message to (U.S. President George W.) Bush to wake up from his dreams.'' REUTERS SBC AS1427

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