BAGHDAD, Iraq – The body of the kidnapped Iraqi karate association chief has been found floating in a river southeast of Baghdad (search) with several gunshot wounds, police and sports officials said Sunday.
Ali Shakir (search), 38, was abducted Thursday in Latifiyah, about 20 miles south of Baghdad. His corpse was found in the river in the city of Kut the following day, police Capt. Muthana Khalid Ali said.
"We've lost a champion," said Ahmed al-Hijiya (search), president of Iraq's Olympic committee.
Shakir was a former Iraq champion in karate and judo. He also was head of the Babil branch of Iraq's soccer association.
Investigators identified Shakir through identification cards and other documents found in his pockets, police said. Kut is 100 miles southeast of Baghdad.
Gunmen wearing police uniforms and manning a fake checkpoint stopped Shakir's car, ordered his mother out, then drove away with him, police said.
It was not known why Shakir was taken. Hundreds of Iraqis have been abducted during the last two years — some by insurgents for political and sectarian reasons and some by criminal gangs for ransom.
Shakir is survived by his wife and three daughters, al-Hijiya said. His funeral was scheduled for Sunday.