WORLD / Middle East

Russian killed, 4 kidnapped in Iraq
Updated: 2006-06-03 20:23

BAGHDAD - A Russian embassy worker has been killed and four of his colleagues kidnapped in west Baghdad, an interior ministry official said.

Gunmen used two vehicles, including a minibus, to block off the street in the upscale west Baghdad neighborhood of Mansour where the Russians were driving.

The gunmen then opened fire on them Saturday, fatally wounding one before taking the rest.

The interior ministry has alerted police to be on the lookout for a car and minibus of Korean manufacture carrying four foreigners.

A Russian Embassy official in Baghdad said Saturday that one diplomat was killed and four diplomatic employees were abducted in the Iraqi capital.

"Yes, I can confirm this. One diplomat killed, four employees kidnapped. That's all I can say. No commentary," the official, contacted by telephone from Moscow, told The Associated Press. He refused to give his name or provide any further details.

Home to many embassies, the Mansour neighborhood has been the scene of a number of attacks and kidnappings of diplomatic personnel, the most recent being of an Emirati diplomat on May 15.

The Algerian charge d'affaires and another diplomat were killed in Mansour in July 2005, while the charge d'affaires of the Bahraini embassy was wounded in the same month.

Also in July 2005, the Russian ambassador's convoy was attacked on the way to the airport, though the ambassador himself was not present.

According to the Iraqi foreign ministry there are 45 diplomatic missions active in the country.