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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 January 2006, 10:41 GMT
Iraq police volunteers kidnapped
Police in Iraq say 35 police volunteers have been kidnapped by insurgents north of Baghdad.

The men were abducted as they travelled home to Samarra by bus on Monday evening after failing to be accepted into a training school, police said.

One man managed to escape from the insurgents and had raised the alarm, police said.

It is the latest in a series of incidents in which insurgents targeted recruits to the security forces.

The AFP news agency reported that US and Iraqi forces were searching the desert north of Baghdad for the missing men.

They were part of a group of 229 from Samarra who had gone to Baghdad to join the police force, Samarra police chief Gen Malik al-Khezraji told AFP.

"Eight cars and minibuses loaded with dozens of gunmen held up the bus and took the men into the desert," Gen Khezraji said, quoting the account of the man who escaped and raised the alarm.

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