American hostage has been beheaded

A Web site posting Monday claimed that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group has beheaded one of the &to=http://' target=_blank>American hostages in Iraq and that others would soon be killed. The claim could not be verified.

The short statement was posted by a Web site contributor using the pseudonym Abu Maysara al-Iraqi, who has put up past statements signed in the name of the Tawhid and &to=http://' target=_blank>Jihad group.

The posting promised video proof "soon."

The reliability and authenticity of such statements, videos and pictures, which appear frequently on Internet sites known for their &to=http://' target=_blank>Islamic content, cannot be known for certain, Detroit Free Press reported.

Tawhid and Jihad, in a video posted on the Internet on Saturday, said it would slit the throats of the three Westerners -- Americans Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley and Briton Kenneth Bigley -- unless Iraqi women were freed from the Abu Ghraib and Umm Qasr prisons by Monday.

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