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Al-Jazeera: U.S. Marine taken hostage

Three Turks, one Pakistani also captured this weekend

Al-Jazeera said an Iraqi resistance group has identified the hostage as a U.S. Marine.
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CNN's Alphonso Van Marsh reports on the Turkish response to the hostages in Iraq.

Insurgents could be pardoned if they provide intelligence.

Two car bombs explode near mosque in Hillah.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi suspected in recent wave of violence.
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The Arabic-language television network Al-Jazeera broadcast a videotape Sunday of a man who it said an Iraqi resistance group identified as a captured U.S. Marine.

A coalition spokesman in Baghdad confirmed that a Marine has been missing in Iraq since June 21, but stopped short of saying he might be a hostage.

The Pentagon and the coalition spokesman identified the missing Marine as Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, but the Pentagon said it could not confirm that he was the man shown in the video.

The videotape showed a man dressed in military fatigues wearing a blindfold. A person standing off-camera held a sword above the man's head. Al-Jazeera also showed what it said were Hassoun's identification papers.

A Pentagon official told CNN that Hassoun speaks Arabic. A coalition spokesman in Baghdad said Hassoun was of Lebanese descent, and the Pentagon official said he has relatives in Lebanon, possibly even a wife.

A speaker on the tape said the man was lured from his base and captured. Al-Jazeera said the group threatened to kill the man unless U.S. military authorities release Iraqi prisoners.

It was the third such message from apparent kidnappers in Iraq in the past two days.

Earlier Sunday, CNN reported that a Pakistani man working for a subcontractor of Kellogg Brown & Root had been taken hostage by insurgents who threatened to kill him unless the United States releases all prisoners.

In a videotape provided to CNN and other news channels by a journalist working in Baghdad, one of the hostage-takers threatened to behead the man in three days unless the United States releases all its prisoners.

The kidnapped man, wearing a Kellogg Brown & Root tag that identified him as Amjid Yousef, was surrounded by masked men brandishing AK-47 rifles and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

A KBR official confirmed to CNN that the identification number on the badge matched that of a subcontractor missing for several days. KBR is a subsidiary of the energy-services giant Halliburton Co.

CNN came into possession of the tape Saturday but delayed reporting its existence until it could check with KBR and the man's family could be notified.

The Pakistani's captors said they were following in the footsteps of the Islamic militant group Unification and Jihad, which is blamed in the killings of South Korean translator Kim Sun-il and American businessman Nicholas Berg.

Al-Jazeera broadcast a videotape Saturday in which Unification and Jihad militants said they had kidnapped three Turkish citizens and would behead them in 72 hours unless Turkey withdrew its companies from Iraq.

U.S. officials said they believe Unification and Jihad is linked to fugitive militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most wanted terrorist in Iraq.

Turkey rejected the kidnappers' demands Sunday.

"Turkey has been fighting terrorist activity for more than 20 years," Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said. "They ask many things, they demand many things. We never consider them with seriousness."

The coalition renewed its call for tips leading to al-Zarqawi's capture and issued a reminder of the $10 million bounty on the Jordanian-born suspect, who the coalition says is linked to al Qaeda.

News of the Turkish kidnappings came just before President Bush arrived in Turkey for the NATO summit, where member nations will consider a request from Iraq to help train its fledgling security forces. (Full story)

Tuesday's meeting will take place the day before the handover of sovereignty in Iraq, and a key question at the summit will be whether NATO as a whole should formally take on a new role in Iraq.

One other U.S. serviceman is being held prisoner by Iraqi insurgents. Army Pfc. Matt Maupin was captured April 9 when his convoy was ambushed outside Baghdad. President Bush met with Maupin's family June 21.

Saddam transfer

Ayad Allawi, Iraq's interim prime minister, said Sunday on CNN's "Late Edition" that he expects his government will take custody of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein early next month.

But transferring legal custody does not mean the U.S. military will transfer physical custody soon, Secretary of State Colin Powell said on the same program.

"I would expect that legal custody would be handed over shortly, but physical custody would remain in our hands for the foreseeable future," Powell said.

Allawi said in a separate CNN interview that he may pardon members of the "resistance" who have not been involved in serious crimes, provided they divulge information about those who have been involved in such crimes.

A number of Iraqis have approached him on the topic, he said.

"It's worth a try," he told CNN.

Asked whether he was considering imposing martial law, Allawi demurred. "We are considering a host of issues," such as a "defense-of-public-safety law," he said.

The police force and army will be mobilized to find criminals and terrorists, he said. Steps involved in the search "may include curfews," and a decision on whether it will include a ban on demonstrations will be announced Tuesday, he said.

In an opinion article in Sunday's editions of the Washington Post, Allawi wrote that though the United States and Britain led the coalition that toppled Saddam, the new government "should not be a replica of models imported from the United States, Britain or any other country.

"Rather, we Iraqis need to find and create the democratic political process that works best for us, while sharing in the universal values of all free nations."

Continuing violence

Violence in Iraq will persist for some time after Wednesday's scheduled transfer of power, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld predicted Sunday.

En route to Istanbul, Turkey, Rumsfeld told reporters that the violence in Iraq would likely continue for an unspecified period after Wednesday's transfer of power, but he predicted that things would "settle down" once the interim Iraqi government solidifies control.

Insurgents killed a U.S. soldier Sunday afternoon in a grenade attack in Baghdad, and a passenger aboard a U.S. cargo plane was killed by gunfire after the plane took off from Baghdad's airport, the U.S. military said.

Explosions Sunday night echoed across central Baghdad in what appeared to be a rocket or mortar attack on the headquarters of the U.S.-led coalition government.

Elsewhere, roadside bombs killed an Iraqi police officer in Fallujah and wounded five Kurdish Peshmerga fighters east of Mosul. Another five Kurdish troops were wounded in a mortar attack on a political party's headquarters in Mosul.

The latest attacks followed a pair of car bombings Saturday night outside a mosque in Hillah that left 23 people dead. Hillah is a largely Shiite town near the ancient city of Babylon and is along a road where many ambushes have occurred.

Mosul was the scene of the worst of the bombings that wracked Iraqi cities last week, and a coalition security official said Sunday that investigators have arrested five people in connection with those attacks.

Some of those arrested are believed to have been members of the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Islam, which U.S. intelligence has linked to al-Zarqawi, a coalition official said.

CNN's Kathleen Koch, Christiane Amanpour, Jane Arraf, Kevin Flower, Ingrid Formanek and Jamie McIntyre contributed to this report.

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