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Wednesday, June 21, 2006 

85-100 Iraqis abducted


Gunmen have abducted at least 80 Iraqi factory workers from a fleet of buses just north of Baghdad, officials say.

The abduction took place at a state-owned factory complex at Taji where dozens of insurgents commandeered buses taking employees home after work.

A source quoted by Reuters news agency said the number of those kidnapped was at least 100 and possibly many more.

It is the latest of a series of mass abductions of workers in Iraq, many of whom have been ransomed or killed.

In other developments on Wednesday:

* The US marines were set to announce murder and other charges against seven marines and a navy sailor over the killing of an Iraqi civilian in April, US officials said

* One of the main lawyers defending former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Khamis al-Obeidi, is abducted from his home and shot dead

* Two people are killed and six wounded when a car bomb explodes in a crowded Baghdad market

* Iraqi and US forces announce the capture of Noori Abu Hayder al-Oqabi, described as a high-level insurgent and leader of a Baghdad "assassination cell"

* Insurgents in Iraq announce their intention to kill four Russian diplomats being held hostage, according to an internet posting.
Complete story here and here.

You just can't keep up with all of the bad news coming out of Iraq. So much for Al Zarqawi capture changing everything :-(

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