A prominent U.S. senator is calling for sending 15- to 30-thousand more U.S. troops to help stem the sectarian violence in Iraq.
Arizona Republican John McCain said during a visit to Baghdad Thursday that more troops are needed to bring the situation under control so the political process can proceed.
He said the current situation is "serious."
McCain has presidential ambitions for 2008. He is one of six U.S. senators who went to the Iraqi capital for talks with U.S. and Iraqi officials.
In violence Thursday, Iraqi police say gunmen wearing military uniforms kidnapped about 30 people in central Baghdad, but at least 25 of the victims have been released.
Iraqi authorities also say gunmen attacked a convoy carrying Vice President Adil Abdul Mahdi, but he escaped unharmed.
The new U.S. operational commander in Iraq, Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno, said efforts to stop the violence must include diplomatic, economic, and military programs.