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Gunmen Kidnap Iraq Olympic Committee Officials

(RFE/RL) July 15, 2006 -- Gunmen today abducted at least 30 Iraqi sports officials, including the head of Iraq's Olympic committee, Mahmud Said Ahmed al-Hijiya.

Police say gunmen in camouflaged Iraqi police uniforms stormed the Iraqi Olympic Committee's Baghdad office as officials were holding a meeting. Two guards were shot dead and some 20 were abducted together with the officials.

Others seized included the deputy head of the Olympic committee, Ammar Jabbar al-Saadi; the chairman of the Taekwondo Federation, Jamal Abdul-Karim; and the chief of the Boxing Federation Union, Bashar Mustafa.

The kidnappings come a day after Iraq's national wrestling team pulled out of a tournament in the United Arab Emirates because their Sunni coach was shot dead by gunmen in Baghdad.

(Reuters, AP, dpa, AFP)

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