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Gunmen Kidnap Chief of Iraqi Olympic Committee


Uniformed gunmen have kidnapped the chief of Iraq's Olympic Committee along with some 30 other sports officials and bodyguards.

Ahmed al-Hadjiya and the others were kidnapped Saturday afternoon from a conference center in Baghdad where they were holding a meeting.

Gunmen stormed the building, blindfolded and handcuffed the hostages, then drove them away in a convoy of vehicles. The bodies of two bodyguards were found later dumped along a street.

The International Olympic Committee in Geneva condemned the kidnappings and called for the immediate release of the sports officials.

The kidnappings came after Iraq's parliament voted to extend a state of emergency for 30 days in an effort to quell sectarian violence and insurgent attacks.

Elsewhere, fifteen people died in clashes and bombings, including two American soldiers.

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

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