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Gunmen Release Iraq's Deputy Cabinet Minister


Iraqi officials say the country's deputy minister of electricity, Raad al-Harith, and seven of his bodyguards have been freed hours after their abduction in Baghdad.

The fate of 12 other bodyguards kidnapped with them is not known. Gunmen wearing camouflage uniforms intercepted the minister's convoy early Tuesday.

The abduction was the second high-profile kidnapping in Baghdad in less than a week. On Saturday, gunmen kidnapped a Sunni Arab legislator, Tayseer al-Mashhadani, and seven of her bodyguards.

Sunni lawmakers have since boycotted parliament and demanded her release.

Separately, the U.S. military says coalition forces detained three suspected al-Qaida in Iraq terrorists, including a senior member of the group, Monday during a raid near Tikrit.

The U.S. military also says Iraqi soldiers rescued three Red Crescent employees from kidnappers Monday near the Al-Nida Mosque in Baghdad.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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