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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 January 2006, 06:26 GMT
Kidnapped Sudanese freed in Iraq
Soldier guarding Lebanese embassy in Iraq
Insurgents have targeted a number of foreign embassies in Baghdad
Five kidnapped members of staff from Sudan's embassy in Iraq have been set free, Sudan's Foreign Ministry says.

The releases came a day after Sudan said it would close the embassy, in an apparent effort to win their freedom.

A web statement attributed to al-Qaeda in Iraq had demanded that Sudan cut diplomatic ties with Baghdad.

The five staff, who included at least one diplomat, and a friend were seized last week after attending prayers at a Baghdad mosque.

"Yes, they released them. They are in the (Baghdad) embassy now. They are all fine," Sudan's State Minister for Foreign Affairs, al-Samani Wasila, said.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq - which is headed by the Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - has killed a number of Arab diplomats in recent months as part of its campaign to isolate the Baghdad government from its neighbours.

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