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Iraq militants behead S. Korean hostage
Updated: 2004-06-23 07:40

Islamic militants Tuesday beheaded a South Korean man who pleaded in a heart-wrenching videotape that "I don't want to die" after his government refused to pull its troops from Iraq.

Kim Sun-il was the third foreign hostage decapitated in the Middle East in little over a month.

A video image released June 22, 2004 by Al Jazeera TV shows armed gunmen standing over a kneeling, blindfolded figure dressed in orange, saying they were about to carry out their threat. Militants beheaded a South Korean hostage in Iraq on Tuesday after Seoul refused their demand to withdraw its troops. [Reuters]
Hours later, the United States launched an airstrike in Fallujah on what the U.S. military said was a safehouse used by followers of the country's most-wanted terrorist: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian whose Monotheism and Jihad movement was believed behind the beheading of the hostage, Kim Sun-il.

Fallujah residents said the strike hit a parking lot. Three people were killed and nine wounded, said Dr. Loai Ali Zeidan at Fallujah Hospital. It was the second attack against the terror network in three days, the U.S. military said.

Elsewhere, two American soldiers were killed Tuesday and another was wounded in an attack on a convoy near Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad.

The Arabic language satellite television channel broadcast a videotape of a terrified Kim kneeling, blindfolded and wearing an orange jumpsuit similar to those issued to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Kim's shoulders were heaving, his mouth open and moving as if he were gulping air and sobbing. Five hooded and armed men stood behind him, one with a big knife slipped in his belt.
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