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21 bus passengers kidnapped near Baquba

Armed men set up a fake checkpoint north of Iraq's restive town of Baquba and kidnap 21 civilians travelling in two minibuses.

world Updated: Feb 26, 2008 21:24 IST

A group of armed men set up a fake checkpoint north of Iraq's restive town of Baquba and kidnapped 21 civilians travelling in two minibuses on Tuesday, police said.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Najim al-Sumaidaie from Baquba told AFP the checkpoint was set up in an area called Al-Adaim, 60 kilometres north of Baquba in the Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad.

"At about 0700 GMT several armed men stopped a minibus carrying 11 men and three women at the checkpoint. They released the women but abducted the men," Sumaidaie said.

He said minutes later another minibus was stopped by the kidnappers and 10 men travelling in it were also abducted.

"All the 21 men were taken away in the same minibuses," Suaiaie said.

He said the two buses had come from the northern oil city of Kirkuk and were on way to Baghdad pasing through the treacherous terrain of Diyala.