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One Iraqi Soldier Dead In Search For Kidnapped Turkish Workers

An Iraqi soldier has been killed in clashes with gunmen as security forces searched for suspects in the abduction of 18 Turkish workers, Baghdad officials say.

The Turkish employees of construction company Nurol Insaat were seized on September 2 in the Sadr City area of Baghdad, where they were working on a sport stadium project.

Baghdad Operations Command said intelligence indicated a member of the kidnapping gang was on Palestine Street.

When forces moved in to search on September 4, there was an exchange of gunfire that resulted in one soldier being killed and three others wounded.

A source with the Shi'ite militia Kataeb Hizballah said it was the group's headquarters on Palestine Street that was attacked.

A spokesman for Hashid Shaabi, a government body overseeing Kataeb and other armed groups fighting Islamic State, denied the militia had any connection to the missing Turks.

Karim al-Nuri said a "routine search" had escalated into a quarrel that left one soldier dead and two militia members wounded.

"The friction started due to accusations that the Turkish workers were kidnapped by Kataeb. Following the security forces' search, this allegation was proven wrong," Nuri said.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

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