[JURIST] An Al-Qaeda group in Iraq has claimed to have executed Eyhab al-Sharif, Egypt's top ambassador to Iraq. He was kidnapped on Saturday shortly after arriving in Baghdad as the first envoy from a major Arab state to the new Iraqi government, and would be the first high-level foreign diplomat to be killed by insurgents. A statement from the group [CNN report] posted online reads in translation "…We, the al Qaeda in the land of the two rivers, announce that the verdict of God against the ambassador of the infidels, the ambassador of Egypt, has been executed, praise be to God." The statement has not been confirmed, but previous claims at the site have been accurate. A video posted by the group showed al-Sharif identifying himself [AP report] but not his death. ArabicNews.com has more.
1:13 PM ET – BBC News is reporting that the Egyptian government has confirmed that its ambassador in Iraq has been killed.
4:03 PM ET – After news of the Egyptian envoy's murder spread, Iraqi president Talabani was quoted as saying that his country was "plagued" by foreign militants involved in the insurgency. Before official confirmation, Iraqi foreign minister Hamed al-Bayati said: "If it is true, then it is a huge crime because he is a diplomat who enjoys immunity under international law." AFP has more. Egypt's ambassador to the UN spoke earlier this afternoon on the killing of his colleague; watch recorded video.