Eight Russian citizens have been kidnapped in the southern suburbs of Baghdad, Russia's Itar-Tass news agency confirmed Tuesday. Several hours later, Interfax reported the eight Russian workers had been released.
Interfax quoted an unnamed senior source in the Interenergoservis firm - the company the eight worked for -as saying all eight had been released and were now at home. Three of the workers were Russian and the other five were Ukrainian nationals.
Late Monday, the Qatari television channel Al-Jazeera reported that 11 Russian specialists had been taken hostage. However, Itar-Tass said this number was not accurate. Information on a gunbattle during their seizure has not been confirmed either, the news agency added.
The eight Russians, who worked as adjusters with the maintenance staff at the Southern Dora thermal power station were driven to an unknown location. Some 20 masked gunmen kidnapped the Russians when they were having a rest in the yard of their house after work, the Russian report disclosed.
Alexander Yakovenko, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said in an interview with Itar-Tass on Tuesday that the eight were employees of the Russian company Interenergoservice.
According to his information, the Russian embassy in Baghdad was making efforts to find out all the circumstances of the incident and to secure the release of the abducted people.
The Russian Foreign Ministry strongly recommended Russian citizens to refrain from visiting Iraq because of the "dramatic" worsening of the situation in that country. (Albawaba.com)
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