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6 egyptians 2 iraqis kidnapped in iraq { September 24 2004 }

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6 Egyptians, 2 Iraqis Kidnapped in Iraq
Friday September 24, 2004 5:16 PM

AP Photo MAC110


Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Kidnappers seized six Egyptians and four Iraqis working for Iraq's mobile phone company in separate incidents, an Egyptian Embassy official said Friday.

The men were all working for Iraqna Mobile Net or contractors, said Ambassador Farouq Mabrouk, and Egyptian Embassy official. Two were kidnapped in Baghdad, while the others were seized outside the capital, Mabrouk said.

In Egypt, a Foreign Ministry official speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed the kidnapping of six Egyptians. There was no immediate confirmation from Iraqi officials that four Iraqis were also snatched.

No group has claimed responsibility for the abductions, which come only days after two Americans and a Briton were snatched from their homes in Baghdad's upscale Mansour district.

The two Americans were beheaded and an al-Qaida linked group is now threatening to kill the British hostage.

The wife of one of the kidnapped engineers- who was identified by the pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera as Mahmoud Mustafa- said her husband's company told her he was kidnapped from his house.

Asmaa Abu al-Seoud pleaded with her husband's abductors to release him.

``He has two daughters who need him. I need him too,'' she told the pan-Arab television station Al-Jazeera. ``He is also a Muslim and he always performs his prayers.''

``He has gone there to help people to have communications,'' she said. ``Why have they abducted him?''

The repeated hostage takings underscored the extremely volatile security problems in Iraq -a situation that is only expected to deteriorate further in the run-up to elections set for January.

Two of the Egyptians were kidnapped at about 10 p.m. Thursday in Baghdad's plush Harthiya neighborhood, said Interior Ministry official Col. Adnan Abdul-Rahman. The kidnappers hustled the two communications engineers in a black BMW and drove them away, he said.

He had no further details.

Another ministry official said the assailants tied up the guards outside the building before breaking in and seizing the two men. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

Mabrouk said the two were employed by Motorola but were doing work from Iraqna.

In a separate incident, four Egyptian engineers and four Iraqis were kidnapped on Wednesday while working outside of Baghdad, Mabrouk said. He said one of the four Iraqis have been released. He didn't offer any further details.

More than 130 foreigners have been kidnapped in Iraq - some for lucrative ransoms - and at least 27 of them have been killed.

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