Updated at 9:25 a.m. EST, Dec. 18, 2006
Another mass kidnapping occurred in Baghdad where over two dozen people were kidnapped from the offices of the Red Crescent aid group. At least 69 Iraqis were killed or found dead today and six more were wounded. One American soldier died of natural causes in the United States after being medically evacuated from Iraq, and a Marine was gunned down on Saturday in Anbar province. At least 59 GIs have died while on duty in Iraq during the month of December.
In Baghdad, kidnappers targeted the offices of the Red Crescent, which is affiliated with the International Red Cross; at least 28 employees and visitors were abducted. Seventeen were later released, but several are still missing. Another three people were abducted and a fourth man killed on Palestine Street; they were members of the Adhamiya municipal council. These kidnappings follow a bold mass kidnapping that occurred in Baghdad on Thursday. Forty-five bodies were also discovered in various part of the capital, many bearing torture marks.
Near Rutba, police found five bodies bearing gunshot and torture wounds.
At a bus station in Mahmudiya, a car bomb killed one person and injured two others.
Six people were wounded when mortars landed in Balad.
In Jurf al Sakhar, police found two tortured and shot bodies.
One Iraqi soldier was killed and another wounded near Tikrit when a roadside bomb targeted their army patrol.
A leading member of the Muslim Scholars Association was gunned down in Alexandria after meeting with Prime Minister al Maliki.
Police found the bodies of two people who were shot dead in Mussayab on Saturday.
A police officer was killed in Kut.
At least 10 dumped bodies were discovered in Baghdad and Kirkuk.
Also, sewage workers in Karbala accidentally discovered a mass grave containing the remains of over 100 people. It is believed the killings took place during an intifada that followed the Gulf War.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis