BAGHDAD, Iraq – A militant group said Monday that it will release a Somali truck driver it kidnapped because the Kuwaiti company he works for agreed to stop working in Iraq, al-Jazeera television said.
In a video aired July 29, Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (search)'s terrorist group Tawhid and Jihad threatened to behead Ali Ahmed Moussa (search) within 48 hours if his company failed to leave the volatile country. It was not known exactly when he was kidnapped.
Moussa appeared kneeling before three black-clad, masked militants armed with assault rifles in the latest video broadcast Monday on the Arabic-language network. One of the militants read a statement, which was inaudible.
The news-reader said the group was releasing Moussa "in appreciation of the attitudes of the Somali government and people toward Iraq and the Kuwaiti company's commitment to stop doing business in Iraq."
The Kuwaiti company Moussa works for has not been publicly identified.
Al-Zarqawi's group has claimed responsibility before for a number of bloody attacks across Iraq and, since April, the beheadings of several foreigners, including U.S. businessman Nicholas Berg (search), South Korean translator Kim Sun-il and Bulgarian truck driver Georgi Lazov.
Militants have abducted over 70 foreigners, many of them truck drivers entering Iraq with supplies for the U.S. military or contractors involved with Iraqi reconstruction efforts.
The kidnappings are part of an insurgent campaign aimed at forcing coalition forces out of the country and scaring foreign companies away.