Monday, June 26, 2006

Bombings and kidnappings beseige Iraq after Maliki peace plan

BAGHDAD (AFP) - At least 57 people were killed in attacks and 10 students were kidnapped from their hostel in Baghdad, one day after the prime minister unveiled a peace plan aimed at easing the violence.

Moscow meanwhile confirmed the killing of four of its Baghdad embassy employees following an Internet statement by their kidnappers, an Al-Qaeda-led insurgent grouping, that they had been executed.

Sectarian violence reared its head again in Iraq when at least 25 people were killed and scores wounded in two separate bombings targeting the country's majority Shiite community.

The first attack happened near Baquba in the village of Khairnabat, northeast of Baghdad, when a booby-trapped motorbike exploded in a marketplace killing at least 18 and wounding 20, a defense ministry source said.

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