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New Wave of Kidnappings in Iraq


Six Iranian pilgrims have become the latest kidnapping victims in Iraq. Authorities say the Iranians were abducted Tuesday morning in the town of Balad, more than 70 kilometers north of Baghdad.

The pilgrims join five Westerners who have been kidnapped in Iraq in recently, including a German woman and her driver who have been missing since last Friday.

German state television network ARD says it has a videotape from the kidnappers threatening to kill the pair unless Berlin stops cooperating with the Iraqi government.

Four Western aid workers - an American, two Canadians and a British citizen - were apparently abducted Saturday.

Meanwhile, two British men were killed during an attack on a bus carrying Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims on Monday. Two Sunni politicians were also killed Monday. One of them was a senior member of the Iraqi Islamic Party who was running in next month's parliamentary elections.

Information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.

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