Gunmen wearing Iraqi police uniforms have seized about 50 employees from the offices of a security company in eastern Baghdad and have taken them to an unknown location. Also in the capital, the bodies of 18 bound and blindfolded men have been found in a minibus. The grizzly discovery was made in a mainly Sunni Arab district. The dead areapparent victims of the sectarian war raging between armed factions.
The dumping of bodies exhibiting signs of torture has become a disturbingly regular feature in Iraq’s bloodshed. In a further sign of the escalating violence, a roadside bomb hit the interior minister’s car. The politician was not present but a passenger was killed. And, as if to compound the country’s woes, Iraq is also gripped by political difficulties. Doubt has been cast over the formation of a national unity government. Shia, Sunni and Kurdish parties cannot agree on the choice by the Shia bloc of Ibrahim al-Jaafari as premier. Jaafari is critcised for failing to bring security or prosperity during the year in which he has been interim prime minister.