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Gunmen in Iraq Kidnap Police Chief's Children

08 June 2007

Iraqi security officials say gunmen have kidnapped three children of a police chief in Diyala province and killed 14 people in an attack on his home.

Officials say the police officer's wife, two brothers and 11 bodyguards were killed in the pre-dawn attack near the city of Baquba, north of Baghdad.

Bomb attacks elsewhere in Iraq killed at least 34 people.

In southern Iraq, two bomb blasts went off in quick succession, killing at least 16 people and wounding more than 30 in a market in the town of Qurna, about 60 kilometers north of Basra.

In northern Iraq, a bomb attack killed at least 18 people and wounded at least 14 others outside a Shi'ite mosque in the town of Dakok near the city of Kirkuk.

Separately, the U.S. military said coalition forces killed one terrorist and detained 12 suspects during raids in al-Anbar province.

In other news, Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who leads the powerful Mahdi Army militia, called on Arab states to help put an end to what he called the suffering of Iraqis.

In an interview broadcast on Iraqi television Thursday, the radical cleric also repeated his call for U.S. troops to leave Iraq, and he rejected outside interference in Iraq, including from Iran.

Last month, the United States urged Iran to stop its alleged support of militias in Iraq. The call was made during the first high-level talks between the U.S. and Iran in almost 30 years. Iran denies it is responsible for insurgent attacks in Iraq.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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