Turkish hostages 'killed' in Iraq
The Tawhid and Jihad group has claimed several hostage-killings
A militant group has killed three Turks it was holding hostage in Iraq, Arabic TV station al-Jazeera has reported.
The station said it had received a video from a group purportedly linked to al-Qaeda, showing the executions.
The video coincided with the discovery by Iraqi police of the bodies of two Turkish citizens and an unidentified man near the northern city of Samarra.
It could not be immediately confirmed whether the bodies belonged to the men in the video, or when they were killed.
Police identified two of the dead as Turkish truck drivers, according to Reuters news agency.
Islamic militants have kidnapped, and sometimes executed, foreign nationals from a range of countries.
French officials are currently in Iraq trying to secure the release of two French journalists being held hostage by a group calling itself the Islamic Army of Iraq.
A number of Turkish truck drivers have been among those taken hostage in Iraq.
Correspondents say the bodies were found in an area that is a centre for Sunni Muslim insurgents, such as the group led by wanted militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Mr Zarqawi has been accused of leading the violent Sunni Muslim resistance to the US-led coalition in Iraq and the interim Iraqi government.
'Mercy is over'
Al-Jazeera did not broadcast footage showing the hostages' executions, or say how the three were killed.
The station aired a brief segment showing three men seated and holding identity cards, in front of three masked gunmen.
Tawhid and Jihad is believed to be linked to top al-Qaeda suspect Zarqawi
The station said it had a statement claiming responsibility from Tawhid and Jihad, a group reportedly linked to Mr Zarqawi. His group is believed to be linked to al-Qaeda and to have been responsible for numerous attacks and suicide bombings.
Al-Jazeera said the kidnappers had threatened in a statement to kill foreigners in Iraq and warned: "The time for mercy is over."
The Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad both said they had no information on the reported killings.
In Ankara, a Turkish official told Agence Presse news agency that the report "seems credible".
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