Friday, August 17, 2007


Oil official abducted in sophisticated raid

(Al Bayyna Al Jadidah Newspaper) - 16 AUG - The Oil Ministry spokesman, Assim Jihad, said that on Tuesday tens of gunmen attacked the “Marketing Commission’s Complex.” They kidnapped the senior Deputy Minister, Abd Al Jabbar Al Wakka and other officials. Jihad added that the incident occurred after official hours, and he pointed out that the complex is near the Oil Ministry. The attackers used official vehicles and were wearing official uniforms. Jihad confirmed that the security organizations are investigating to discover the names of those who have been kidnapped and to learn who kidnapped them.
Jihad blamed armed gangs for the incident but he did not name them. He continued, “These gangs want to create a more unstable situation.” An unnamed MOI spokesman told the AP that five guards were wounded. According to the AP, there were 50 gunmen that attacked the Oil Ministry complex in 17 official vehicles that may have been stolen.
Regarding the same subject, on Tuesday, the Oil Minister, Hussain Al Shahristani said that the kidnapping which targeted the senior deputy, Abd Al Jabbar Al Wakka and others, was carried out by those who want to hinder the government and prevent the ministries from providing good services to the citizens. Al Shahristani announced that his ministry is assisting the security organizations to discover who carried out these kidnappings.
Oil Ministry spokesman Assim Jihad said, “There were about 100 kidnappers and this operation happened at around 3:30 PM Tuesday afternoon. The number of those kidnapped is still unknown. It may be four or five people.” He added that the ministry is trying to determine the exact number and that the kidnappers used a variety of vehicles. He said that the kidnappers took the vehicles and weapons of the Oil Protection forces at Somo Oil Complex.
Hussein al Shahristani said the men were carrying "sophisticated" weapons. They drove government vehicles and spoke in English as they convinced guards to let them enter in what he described as a serious breach of security committed by "enemies of Iraq." He said security forces had some indication of where the kidnapped men might be held. "The rescue operations are continuing day and night," Al Shahristani said.

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