Russian diplomat killed in Baghdad

Reports indicate one killed, four "diplomatic representatives" kidnapped.

iraq baghdad 298 (photo credit: AP)
iraq baghdad 298
(photo credit: AP)
Four people in a Russian diplomatic car were kidnapped in western Baghdad Saturday and one man may have been killed, police said. According to police, witnesses at the scene told them than gunmen opened fire on a car that belonged to the Russian embassy in west Baghdad's upscale Mansour district. Interior Ministry Lt.-Col. Falah al-Mohamedawi said one person was killed in the incident. A man who answered the phone at Russian embassy, located in Mansour, would not comment. According to police 1st-Lt. Thaeir Mahmoud, the incident took place near the Mansour offices of the Atheer mobile phone company. Neither al-Mohamedawi nor Mahmoud knew the nationalities of the four people. In Moscow, the ITAR-Tass news agency, citing unnamed sources in the consular service of the Russian Embassy in Baghdad, says one Russian diplomat was killed and four "diplomatic representatives" were abducted. A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry could not immediately comment on reports. The Interfax news agency quoted an employee at the Russian Embassy in Baghdad as saying that "we confirm that one diplomat has been killed, four abducted." At least 439 foreigners have been kidnapped in Iraq since the US-led invasion three years ago, according to figures provided earlier this month by a special US anti-kidnapping task force. Diplomats have been the targets of abductions previously. The most recent was a United Arab Emirates diplomat who was seized by gunmen in Mansour and held for more than two weeks before being released late last month. Last July, two Algerian diplomats and an Egyptian colleague were separately kidnapped and killed. In October, two Moroccan Embassy workers were abducted and later killed. Al-Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility for all the abductions.