80 workers kidnapped in Iraq
They were abducted by a group of armed men who boarded buses of state workers employed by Iraqi ministry.india Updated: Jun 27, 2006 13:21 IST
Eighty Iraqi workers were abducted by gunmen in a city north of Baghdad, officials said.
The men were abducted from Taji, 25 km north of Baghdad, by a group of armed men who boarded the buses of the state workers employed by the Iraqi ministry of industry on Wednesday evening.
Al-Arabiya reported that the men are now being held in a factory -- likely to be the Great Victory Factory at which they are employed.
The Al Jazeera satellite channel, which initially announced that 100 or more workers were abducted, later said that at least 80 workers had been kidnapped by gunmen.
The incident occurred as the workers finished work for the evening. Further details were not immediately available.
In Washington, the US Senate began to discuss whether to withdraw troops from Iraq, but the debate centred on politics more than policy as the major parties sought to position themselves ahead of the November congressional elections.
The US military also on Wednesday charged seven US Marines and a Navy corpsman with the murder of a 54-year-old Iraqi civilian in the town of Hamdaniya.
The eight soldiers also face charges of kidnapping, conspiracy, larceny and false statement, said Colonel Stewart Navarre at Camp Pendleton, California.
The soldiers allegedly took the victim, Hasham Ibrahim Awad, from his home in April before fatally shooting him.
They reportedly placed shovels near the man to give the appearance he was planting a roadside bomb. The US military is holding the prisoners at the base in southern California.