Iraq: Gunmen abduct at least 50 scientists

Gunmen wearing Interior Ministry commando uniforms kidnapped at least 50 scientists and other staff members from a Baghdad research institute directly under the Ministry of Higher Education, police said. Gunmen arrived at the institute in downtown Karradah in a fleet of 20 vehicles at about 9:30 a.m. (0630 GMT), said police spokesman Maj. Mahir Hamad. Hamad and another spokesman, Lt. Thayer Mahmoud, said the gunmen forced their captives into the vehicles at gunpoint and drove off to an unknown destination. Hamad said the gunmen had sealed off roads leading to the center during the 20-minute raid. He said the institute's four guards put up no resistance and were not harmed.