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Iraq deputy justice minister kidnapped

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Iraq’s deputy justice minister was kidnapped from his vehicle on Tuesday by black-clad gunmen in a north Baghdad district, three security sources said, the second high-profile abduction in the capital in less than a week.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Baghdad has seen a proliferation in recent years of well armed criminal gangs that carry out contract killings, kidnappings and extortion.

Some elements of powerful Shi’ite armed groups, which are seen as a critical deterrent against Islamic State radicals, have also been accused of kidnapping people for political or criminal purposes.

The security sources said another ministry official and two guards were also abducted. A ministry spokesman declined to comment but identified the deputy minister as Abdel Karim Faris.

Last week, gunmen seized 18 Turkish construction workers from a sports stadium they were building in northeastern Baghdad. Iraqi security forces investigating the incident later raided the headquarters of a powerful Iranian-backed Shi’ite militia, but the workers are still missing. Reuters


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