Iraqis kidnapped at ministry were tortured, killed

Kidnappers who snatched scores of Iraqis from a government ministry building in Baghdad tortured and killed some of them, a government official said Thursday. Basil al-Khatib, a spokesman for Iraq's Higher Education Minister Abed Theyab, said people who were freed after the mass kidnapping at the ministry on Tuesday have told officials about what happened. "Some of the hostages were tortured and killed, according to eyewitnesses from among the captives who were released," al-Khatib said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. He said he didn't know how many hostages had fallen victim to such abuse. Theyab, a member of a Sunni-Arab party in Iraq's Shiite-led government, reiterated his decision to boycott the government until all the hostages are released, al-Khatib said.