Turkish drivers killed, others kidnapped north of Baghdad

Wext: Monday, 20.September. @ 00:00:00 CEST

Mijar:

19. Sep. 2004, SAMARRA, Iraq (AFP) - About a dozen Turkish truck drivers have been either killed or abducted in Sunni Muslim strongholds north of Baghdad over the past 24 hours, Iraqi police sources told AFP.

"Four trucks with Turkish number plates were destroyed this morning at 10:00 am (0600 GMT) at Balad bridge," Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Hassan said Sunday.

"They were on the main highway between Baghdad and Mosul and all those inside were killed," he said, without confirming the number and identities of the dead.

Separately, three Turkish trucks were ambushed late Saturday in the town of Dujail, which has become notorious for attacks on US vehicles and convoys of foreign contractors working for coalition troops, police Major Adel Ibrahim said.

"There were trucks with a total of three drivers and three helpers. One of the drivers was shot dead on the spot and the five other people were abducted," said 36-year-old Ahmed Hussein Kadhem, who sells cigarettes by the road.

"Two civilian cars ambushed the trucks. They shot in the air to stop them. Then all of them were whisked away, including the body of the dead driver," said another witness, 28-year-old taxi-driver Mohammed Kamel.

Al-Jazeera television on Saturday reported that an Islamist group claimed to have kidnapped 10 employees of a US-Turkish company and threatened to kill them unless the firm halted its operations in Iraq (news - web sites) within three days.

A clip from a videotape broadcast by the Arab satellite television showed the 10 men displaying their identity cards in front of the camera. It was not immediately possible to verify whether the men kidnapped in Dujail were among them.

Hassan said a convoy of US military trucks was also attacked in the town of Al-Mashahda, 25 kilometres (15 miles) north of Baghdad. The army could not immediately confirm the incident.

An Iraqi truck driver's corpse was found early Sunday in Al-Qala, four kilometres (2.5 miles) west of Samarra, a hot pocket of insurgency, said police Lieutenant Colonel Nabil Kamel.

The US military also said the body of an Iraqi national guardsmen was found near Balad late Saturday, but had no details on when or how he had been killed



Source: AFP








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