Vladimir Radyuhin

MOSCOW: Russia has called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss the killing of its diplomats in Iraq and accused the U.S.-led coalition forces of failing to guarantee the security of foreign embassy personnel in the country.

In a statement issued on Monday evening, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed the deaths of four Russian embassy personnel kidnapped in Baghdad on June 3 by an Al-Qaeda-linked group.

The Mujahedeen Shura Council said it had kidnapped the Russians to demand the withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya.

Last weekend the group posted a video on a website showing the killing of three of the four Russians. A statement from the group said the fourth was also slain.

A fifth Russian embassy worker had been killed during the kidnapping.

It is the first time Russian diplomats have been kidnapped and killed in Iraq.

Russia, which strongly opposed the U.S.-led war in Iraq, has called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to condemn the killing of its embassy workers in Iraq, the RIA Novosti news agency reported from New York.

Moscow has held the coalition forces responsible for the safety of diplomats in Iraq.

"It is the coalition forces who carry the responsibility of ensuring security in Iraq, including the protection of foreign diplomatic missions and their personnel.

"We have more than once insisted to the command of the foreign military contingent that it take appropriate measures," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in its statement.

The Ministry demanded that the Iraqi leadership and the coalition forces command take all efforts to bring the killers of the Russian diplomats to justice.