||DUBAI (Reuters) - A militant group in Iraq said it had killed two Macedonian hostages it accused of spying for the United States, Arabic television Al Jazeera reported Monday.
Al Jazeera said it had received a video tape showing the killing of the two men accompanied by a statement from the Islamic Army in Iraq stating it had seized the men a few days ago as they were leaving a U.S. base.
But Macedonian television, which aired footage of the men's passports also broadcast by Al Jazeera, said the hostages were among a group of three men kidnapped in August.
The passports identified the men as Dalibor Lazarevski and Zoran Naskovski from the impoverished northern city of Kumanovo, who had signed up for jobs as construction workers in Iraq.
Al Jazeera did not show the killing nor did it name the men. The fate of the third hostage, Dragan Markovic, was not immediately clear.
A Macedonian foreign ministry spokesman said the government had seen the pictures but refused to comment further.
"We can't comment until we get formal confirmation. We're trying to establish contact with the Iraqi government," he said.
Militants have kidnapped and killed several foreigners in Iraq to pressure their governments and private companies to end cooperation with the U.S.-led forces.
Macedonia has 32 soldiers in Iraq. The three Macedonians worked for United Arab Emirates-based Soufan Engineering, catering to the needs of the U.S. military and its private contractor firms.
It was not clear if the kidnappers were the same group as the one that said it had seized two French journalists earlier this year.
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