Iraq: Bodies of two U.S. embassy workers found; at least 26 die in blasts
The bodies of an Iraqi husband and wife who worked for the American embassy in Baghdad have been found, a U.S. official said on Sunday. "It is with a profound sense of sadness and regret that we announce the loss of two locally employed staff who were kidnapped in May and killed at the hands of violent extremists," U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said in a statement, cited by Reuters.
An American official said the couple were Hazim Hanna and his wife Enel Meskoni. Their identities were confirmed through fingerprint records. Hanna went missing first and when Meskoni went to look for him, she was kidnapped as well, U.S. officials said at the time of their disappearance.
Al Qaeda-led group Islamic State in Iraq claimed responsibility for their slaying in a message posted on a Web site on May 31. It implied their throats had been slit.
Meanwhile, six people died on Sunday by a car bomb parked on a busy shopping street in central Baghdad, police said, and two more people were killed in a second attack in the Iraqi capital. Seven people were hurt in the first attack, in the mainly Shi'ite district of Karrada, the police said.
The second car bomb was near a hotel used by westerners in the southern neighbourhood of Jadriya, police said. Five people were wounded in that bombing, near the al-Hamra hotel.
On Baghdad's southwestern outskirts, a bomb hit a truckload of newly recruited Iraqi soldiers, killing 15 soldiers and wounding 20, a police official said. Also, a bomb hidden under a car went off at the entrance of Shorja market killing three civilians and wounding five, police said.