Turkish construction workers seized in Iraq



GUNMEN in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, have kidnapped at least 18 Turkish construction workers Iraqi and Turkish officials say.

A Turkish company building a sports stadium in the north-eastern Sadr City district employed the workers.

They were sleeping in caravans at the site when armed men wearing military uniforms reportedly arrived in vehicles at dawn and took them away.

Iraqi officials said they did not know who was behind the kidnapping.

The BBC’s Mark Lowen in Istanbul says Sadr City has seen a spate of abductions, some blamed on Shia militias which control the area and others on gangs.

The company building the stadium in Sadr City, Nurol Holding, told the BBC that the gunmen stormed the site at about 03:00 (00:00 GMT) yesterday.

Police sources said they wore military uniforms and drove black SUVs. After disarming the guards, the gunmen broke down the doors of the workers’ caravans and took them away, the sources added.

Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic told the Associated Press that those kidnapped included 14 labourers, three engineers and an accountant.

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