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Thread: Five Britons kidnapped from Iraqi Finance Ministry, Baghdad

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Default Five Britons kidnapped from Iraqi Finance Ministry, Baghdad

    Confused reports at the moment. The video report is worth watching for the varying stories.

    Five Britons are reported to have been kidnapped from the Iraqi finance ministry in Baghdad.


    They included four bodyguards and a finance expert, earlier reported to be German.

    "We are aware of reports that a group of Westerners have been kidnapped. We are urgently looking into them," the UK foreign office said. The foreign office is set to hold an emergency meeting on the situation and is assembling a crisis team ...
    The video report indicates two conflicting stories: that the Brits were taken inside the building itself by men in police uniforms, or that they were kidnapped just outside the Ministry building in the street, and theorizes that (1) indicates Shia gunmen angling for ransom or political leverage, and (2) indicates Sunni insurgents, possibly AQI.

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    NYTIMES fills in the details.

    Gunmen wearing police commando uniforms abducted five British civilians from a Finance Ministry complex on Tuesday, British officials said. They seized a business consultant and his four bodyguards in an attack that revived questions about links between official security forces and criminal militias.

    ...

    The abduction occurred just before noon, when gunmen in a convoy of vehicles typically used by the police entered a guarded Finance Ministry complex in eastern Baghdad, took the civilians and left without firing a shot, according to witnesses and Iraqi officials. It was one of the most brazen, coordinated assaults on Western civilians at an Iraqi government building since the war started.

    The ease of the attack amplified concerns that elements of Iraqs government may be playing a more active role in attacking Westerners or at least allowing attacks to occur.

    ...

    At the same time, some American military officials in Baghdad have recently said that a majority of the Iraqi security forces they work with report to militia leaders and cannot be trusted. Commanders in western Baghdad said several roadside bombs aimed at American convoys have recently been found within view of Iraqi checkpoints ...

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