In the second brazen daylight kidnapping in as many days, terrorists seized the director of an Iraqi state construction firm Saturday, blocking his car with two other vehicles as he drove through an affluent neighborhood, officials said.
The abduction followed the kidnapping on Friday of a senior Egyptian diplomat as he emerged from a mosque in the capital. The victim, Mohamed Mamdouh Helmi Qutb, was the first foreign diplomat among about 70 people who have been kidnapped in Iraq in recent months.
Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, traveling in Syria, said his interim government was doing everything possible to secure Qutb's release, but he also strongly urged Egyptian authorities not to make any concessions to the kidnappers.
"The only way to deal with terrorists is to bring them to justice and close ranks, and we hope that the Egyptian government would act accordingly," Allawi told journalists in Damascus. "We are going to win. ... We are going to prevail and the terrorists will be brought to justice."
Few details were immediately known about the kidnapping of the Iraqi business official, Raad Adnan, who is general director of the Al-Mansour Contracting Co. The government-owned firm carries out construction contracts for public ministries. It was not known what demands, if any, Adnan's abductors had made.
On Saturday, meanwhile, gunmen in three cars attacked a convoy carrying west Baghdad's police chief as he passed near the town of Mahmoudiya south of Baghdad. Two bodyguards were killed, but the police chief, Brig. Sabah Fahad, escaped unharmed, said Mahmoudiya hospital director, Dr. Dawoud al-Taie.
Attackers in two cars opened fire on a group of policemen at a checkpoint in the al-Shurta district of Baghdad on Saturday, injuring seven policemen, the Interior Ministry said.
A rocket exploded in the downtown Jubairya district in northern city of Samarra killing one man and injuring three other civilians early Saturday, police Maj. Sadoun al-Dulaimi said.
In volatile Anbar province west of Baghdad, a U.S. Marine died Saturday of wounds sustained during "security and stability operations" Friday, the military said.