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Kidnapped Iraqis possibly tortured

Gunmen who snatched about 70 men from a government research institute in Baghdad on Tuesday may have tortured some of their hostages, according to an aide to the Minister of Higher Education. A number of media reports quoted the minister of higher education as saying on Thursday that some of the hostages were killed. The minister of the interior, however, said no conclusive evidence -- such as dumped bodies -- has been found to indicate any killings and the ministry has not heard reports of tortured hostages. On Wednesday Iraq's higher education minister threatened to resign, arguing he could not stay at his post if he could not protect the nation's educations.

"I have to protect my people," Abed Dhiyab al-Ajili told CNN. Asked by CNN if he sincerely planned to go through with his resignation, he noted that in recent weeks Iraq's education establishment has become a target of sectarian attacks, and said the situation must change. "If it will not be resolved, I will resign," he said.

He said he believes Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has ordered a crackdown on those responsible and he is waiting to see what kind of action would result.

Source: CNN
Tag: Iraq Bush
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