they're under that demolished house over there

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    Fate of Iraqi PM's kidnapped relatives unknown
    Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi says he has no news of the fate of three of his relatives who were kidnapped last week and threatened with death.

    Speaking two days after the expiry of a purported ultimatum from their captors, the US-backed Prime Minister remained defiant.

    "We don't know, we don't know but definitely I am not going to be deterred by this," Dr Allawi said when asked about the kidnapping.

    He recalled that ousted president Saddam Hussein had executed his brother and tried to kill him as well.

    "The same thing is happening now," he said on a trip to this southern city.

    "Our concern really is Iraqi people and the safety of Iraqi people. I am not going to be deterred by this act.

    "They will have lots of Iraqis against them because among the hostages from my family is a lady who is expecting a baby any time now. This shows you the level of criminality that those people are doing in Iraq."

    On Tuesday, militants abducted Mr Allawi's cousin, Ghazi, 75, his wife and their pregnant daughter-in-law, from their house in Baghdad.

    The following day, a previously unknown Islamic group claimed responsibility and threatened to behead them within 48 hours unless Mr Allawi halted a major offensive on the rebel enclave of Fallujah and released all prisoners held in Iraq.


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