Scores of Baghdad businessmen kidnapped by heavily-armed gang as US senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman visit Green Zone

Scores of Baghdad businessmen kidnapped by heavily-armed gang as US senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman visit Green Zone
round 100 gunmen in police uniforms brandishing rifles and Glock pistols issued by the US military to Iraqi forces went from shop to shop Thursday, Dec. 14, stealing cash and seizing hostages. The two influential senators called for another 15-30,000 troops to be sent to Iraq. They also said prime minister Nuri al-Maliki and US forces must do more to break the radical cleric Moqtada Sadr and his 60,000-strong Mehdi Army militia.
Wednesday, gunmen killed 9 members of Shiite family near Baghdad, after 24 Iraqis died. They stormed a mud house in the Shiite village of Al-Hesna, 35 km south of Baghdad early Wednesday, Dec. 13. The victims included three children and two women. Police said gunmen from nearby Sunni villages on Tuesday had warned the residents of Al-Hesna to leave.
Nine soldiers were killed Wednesday when two suicide bomb trucks ploughed into a Strategic Infrastructure Brigade base situated near the pipelines carrying crude from the Kirkuk oil center, 50 km away, to the Baijii refinery complex. The brigade consists of local tribesmen responsible for defending the northern oil fields and pipelines.
In eastern Baghdad, a car bomb killed 10 people and wounded 25 in a busy marketplace near the Shiite Kamaliyah mosque. Two car bombs exploded in eastern Baghdad later Wednesday, killing five people and wounding 10.
The attacks came a day after a pair of suicide car bombers killed 70 people and injured 200 – mostly day laborers, who were lured by offers of jobs to an explosives-packed pickup in Baghdad’s Tayaran Square.

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