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THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ

3 Lebanese Workers Are Shot Dead in Baghdad

September 11, 2004|From Times Wire Services

BEIRUT — Three Lebanese nationals who worked for a food company in Baghdad were shot dead and a fourth was wounded Friday in the home of one of the victims, a Lebanese Foreign Ministry official said.

The circumstances were not immediately clear, but items were stolen from the home, said the ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Foreign Minister Jean Obeid denounced the killings. He urged the Iraqi government to "provide security for Lebanese and other Arabs and foreigners who are being subjected to kidnappings and killings, their only crime being that they work in Iraq."

Officials identified the dead as Karim Khoury; his wife, Evelyn Abdel-Nour; and George Badin. Lebanon's National News Agency said a fourth Lebanese, Shukri Nmeir, was seriously wounded.

The victims apparently were in Khoury's Baghdad home when they were shot, the Lebanese official said.

Several Lebanese businessmen and truck drivers have been kidnapped in Baghdad in recent months. All were released unharmed except construction worker Hussein Ali Alyan, who was found shot dead June 12.

Foreign Ministry officials have said the kidnappers have sought ransom and apparently did not have political motives.

In Paris, meanwhile, officials appealed for the release of Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, two Frenchmen kidnapped last month in Iraq.

And in Rome, thousands of Italians marched silently in a candlelight procession Friday to demand the release of Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, two aid workers abducted Tuesday in Baghdad.

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