United Arab Emirates Diplomat Kidnapped in Baghdad

Gunmen seized a diplomat from the United Arab Emirates late Tuesday after shooting a security guard, police said.

Police Lt. Thair Mohammed said the diplomat was abducted in the city's Mansour district about 10 p.m. He added that a Sudanese security guard, Bedawi Ahmed Ibrahim, was shot by the gunmen who then seized the diplomat as he was walking from the embassy to his nearby home.

The foreign ministry in Abu Dhabi said that one of its diplomats in Baghdad had disappeared, the Emirates state news agency reported.

CountryWatch: Iraq

"We believe he was kidnapped," an official source told the agency.

Mohammed said he did not know the diplomat's name.

In July 2005, Al Qaeda in Iraq kidnapped and killed two Algerian and one Egyptian diplomat, Ihab al-Sherif, in an apparent campaign to prevent Arab and Islamic countries from strengthening ties to the U.S.-backed Iraqi government.

Al-Qaida said it killed al-Sherif because Egypt intended to install a full ambassador in Iraq.

Arab nations have since then been hesitant to send ambassadors to Baghdad, particularly after the threat from Al Qaeda.

Senior envoys from Pakistan and Bahrain have managed to escaped kidnap attempts. More than 40 diplomatic missions are currently in Iraq.

Two Moroccan embassy workers, driver Abderrahim Boualam and employee Abdelkrim el Mouhafidi, disappeared in October 2005 while driving from Jordan.

Al Qaeda in Iraq said it had kidnapped the men and in November the terror group said it had sentenced them to death. They have not been heard from since.