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Iraqi Officials: UAE Diplomat Kidnapped in Baghdad


Iraqi officials say gunmen have kidnapped a United Arab Emirates diplomat in the Mansour district in western Baghdad.

Reports say one of the diplomat's bodyguards - a Sudanese - was shot and wounded in Tuesday's assault.

Separately, Iraqi authorities say at least 18 people were killed in an insurgent attack in a Baghdad garage. At least 33 other people were wounded.

Elsewhere in the capital, at least six civilians died in crossfire between police and insurgents in the Dora district. A roadside bomb killed a U.S. soldier on foot patrol in Baghdad.

Meanwhile, Iraqi politicians say Prime Minister-designate Nouri al-Maliki may announce the composition of a new unity government within the next 48 hours. A Western diplomat says Mr. al-Maliki will present his Cabinet by next week's constitutionally-mandated deadline.

The United States has said a unified Iraqi government is key toward ending sectarian violence and insurgent attacks.

And in Saddam Hussein's trial Tuesday, defense witnesses testified for three of the former leader's co-defendants who are accused of crimes against humanity for the 1982 massacre of 148 Shi'ites from the village of Dujail.

Saddam did not appear in court. He refused to enter a plea on Monday after hearing formal charges against him.

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