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Gunmen Seize Scores in Mass Kidnapping in Iraq


Gunmen dressed as Iraqi police commandoes have kidnapped scores of people from a government building in Baghdad.

Initially, Iraqi officials said they believed at least 100 were kidnapped, but later, officials said the number is probably lower and that at least 15 of the victims were released unharmed.

Police said the gunmen forced people at a Higher Education Ministry building into about 20 vehicles and drove off on Tuesday.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry said it has arrested five senior police officers in connection with the kidnappings.

Officials say the gunmen seized both Sunnis and Shi'ites, indicating the attack was not a case of sectarian violence but a terrorist attack.

Later Tuesday in Baghdad, Iraqi police said separate car bombs in central Baghdad and the Sadr City district killed at least 17 people and wounded 48 others.

In Ramadi, a Sunni insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad, medical officials said at least 30 people were killed in overnight fighting between insurgents and U.S. forces.

Near the town of Mandali, on the Iranian border, insurgents ambushed a bus, killing seven people.

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