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Gunmen Kidnap a French Engineer in Baghdad


Iraqi police say gunmen have abducted a French engineer working at a water plant in Baghdad.

The gunmen, riding in several vehicles, surrounded the engineer's car in the western Mansur district as he was riding to work Monday morning.

Police identify the victim as Brent Blanche. The French embassy in Baghdad could not immediately confirm the abduction.

Iraqi authorities have been dealing with a new wave of kidnappings in recent days. Four western aid workers - an American, two Canadians and a British national - were kidnapped last month by an insurgent group calling itself the Swords of Righteousness Brigade. A German aid worker and archaeologist also disappeared in Iraq on November 25.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military said an American soldier was killed when his patrol hit a roadside bomb in eastern Baghdad Sunday.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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