Gunmen kidnap ministry official in Iraq

March 20th, 2008 - 5:09 pm ICT by admin  

Tikrit (Iraq), March 20 (Xinhua) Unknown gunmen have abducted a senior government official near a town in the northern Iraqi province of Salahudin, a provincial police source said Thursday. “Ra’ad Shallal al-Hadithi, an advisor to the electricity minister, was kidnapped Wednesday afternoon when armed men set up a fake checkpoint and intercepted his car in a desert area on the main road west of the town of Beiji, some 200 km north of Baghdad,” the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The desert area between Salahudin and Anbar provinces has remained a stronghold of Al Qaeda in Iraq despite many attacks launched by US and Iraqi security forces to clear the vast open area, the source said.

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