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Thursday, October 21, 2004

TheStar.com - Iraqi air employees attacked

Iraqi air employees attacked


BAGHDAD - Gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying female employees of Iraqi Airways to the Baghdad airport Thursday, killing one and wounding 14, an airline official said. All the victims were Iraqi women.

Meanwhile, the husband of the kidnapped director of CARE International made a plea in Baghdad for her release, saying she has spent her life helping Iraqis.

Margaret Hassan, the head of operations in Iraq for the charity, was abducted on her way to work early Tuesday by gunmen who blocked her route and dragged the driver and a companion from the car, said her husband, Tahseen Ali Hassan.

During a news conference Thursday, Hassan, an Iraqi national, addressed the kidnappers, saying: "Release my wife. She's Iraqi. She's working for a humanitarian organization and I ask you to release her."

The attack on the airline workers occurred on the main road linking the airport with central Baghdad, the official said on condition of anonymity. The U.S. State Department has described travel between central Baghdad and the airport as "particularly dangerous."

The official said the attack killed one person and wounded 14 — all women. Insurgents often target Iraqis seen as co-operating with American or government institutions.

Meanwhile, hospital officials said Thursday that a pair of car bombings in Samarra a day earlier were suicide attacks that killed 10 Iraqi civilians and injured 14 others. Earlier reports put the death toll at one.TheStar.com - Iraqi air employees attacked

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