From the Associated Press, “Iraqi Insurgents Issue Brash New Challenge:”
Iraqi insurgents issued brash new challenges to the country’s interim government, capturing an Egyptian diplomat as he walked out of a mosque and making new demands for the release of seven hostages that will almost certainly go unmet.
Militants kidnapped Mohammed Mamdouh Helmi Qutb outside a mosque and demanded his country abandon any plans to send security experts to support Iraq’s new government, according to a video broadcast on the Al-Jazeera television station. He was believed to be the first foreign diplomat kidnapped in Iraq…
The abduction threatened to undermine efforts of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, who met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday to persuade Arab and Muslim countries to provide troops to protect the U.N. mission here.
Update: Meanwhile, according to the Philippines Daily Tribune,
The United States is “seriously considering” imposing a travel ban by Americans to the Philippines,because of reported threat of attack on Americans and US interests in the country, local newspaper the Daily Tribune quoted diplomatic sources as saying on Sunday.
The Daily Tribune said that “highly placed diplomatic sources” told its reporters on Saturday that the possible ban is based on “credible intelligence reports of a serious attack being planned against its (US) citizens residing in the Philippines and on American establishments in the country.”