Four Egyptians kidnapped in Baghdad as activists threaten to kill Italian journalist

Published February 6th, 2005 - 12:53 GMT

Four Egyptians working for a mobile phone company were kidnapped Sunday in Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official said.


Meanwhile, in another hostage-taking in Iraq, kidnappers threatened to kill an Italian journalist by Monday unless Italy agrees to withdraw its troops, according to a statement on the Internet.

The four Egyptians were seized early Sunday near the Mansour district of western Baghdad, the official said, requesting anonymity. They worked for Iraqna, a subsidiary of the Egyptian firm Orascom Telecommunications, which operates the mobile phone network in Baghdad and central Iraq.

Six other Egyptians working for Iraqna were kidnapped in two separate incidents in September. Four were freed quickly and the last two were released in October.

Orascom has said that despite the kidnappings, the company is committed to continuing its work in Iraq.

The Italian journalist was kidnapped Friday by activists who blocked her car outside Baghdad University. Giuliana Sgrena, 56, is a veteran reporter for the left-wing daily Il Manifesto.

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