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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 May 2006, 21:18 GMT 22:18 UK
UAE diplomat abducted in Baghdad
A diplomat from the United Arab Emirates has been kidnapped in Baghdad, Iraqi officials say.

They say the unidentified diplomat was abducted by gunmen in the city's Mansour district late on Tuesday.

One of the diplomat's bodyguards, a Sudanese national, was wounded in the attack, officials said.

Last July gunmen abducted and killed Egypt's ambassador-designate in Iraq and - in a separate incident - two Algerian diplomats in Baghdad.

The kidnappings are blamed on insurgents wanting to deter Arab governments from having diplomatic ties with the US-backed administration in Iraq.

The UAE diplomat was seized by the gunmen during a visit to his embassy's cultural annex, the Iraqi interior ministry said.

Mansour is in central Baghdad, just outside the heavily protected Green Zone where the US-led coalition and Iraqi government have their offices.

The UAE's foreign ministry said contact had been lost with one of its Baghdad-based diplomats, and that he was believed to have been kidnapped.

The abduction comes on a day as at least 29 people were killed in several attacks by suspected insurgents in Iraq.

In the worst violence, at least 23 people were killed and more than 30 injured in a shooting and bombing attack in Baghdad.

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