RealNews

Three Turks Held in Iraq; Blasts Kill 20

Militants loyal to suspected al-Qaida terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi threatened to behead three Turkish hostages, fanning tensions as President Bush visited Turkey. A bombing south of Baghdad killed more than 20 people. The kidnappers said the hostages would be killed unless Turkish companies stop doing business with American forces in Iraq and called for protests in Turkey against Bush’s visit. The military said a pair of car bombs may have caused the explosion late Saturday in downtown Hillah, a largely Shiite Muslim city south of Baghdad. Iraqi police and Hillah-area hospitals reported 23 people were killed and 58 wounded. The U.S. military had reported 40 dead and 22 wounded but revised the figure downward in line with the Iraqi count. Elsewhere, three mortar shells exploded Sunday at the Mosul office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, a pro-U.S. political party. Four party members were wounded. a PUK official said. A Mosul policeman was killed in a drive-by shooting in another incident, police said. Full Story

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