Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Five Britons abducted in Baghdad


Five Britons have been kidnapped from Iraq's finance ministry in Baghdad, the British government has confirmed.

They included four bodyguards and a finance expert. Earlier reports said the expert was German.

Witnesses and sources told the BBC that the kidnappers wore police uniforms and arrived in up to 40 police vehicles.

The British foreign office said it was "in urgent contact with Iraqi authorities to establish facts and to try to secure a swift resolution".

The British government convened an emergency meeting of its Cobra crisis management committee on Tuesday afternoon.

Also on Tuesday, Baghdad was shaken by a bus explosion which killed at least 23 people and injured about 55, and a car bomb which killed at least 17 people, hurt at least 36 and destroyed a Shia mosque.

The US military also announced that 10 of its soldiers were killed in Iraq on Monday, including two in a helicopter crash.

At least 112 US troops have been killed so far in May, making it the deadliest month this year.

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