Source AP ©

Iraqi security forces fighting to free Shiite hostages

After insurgents hijacked Monday two buses and kidnapped at least 15 passengers a big battle raged in central Baghdad, police said Monday.

At least three policemen had been killed and four wounded, authorities said.

The small buses where traveling through the Fadhil neighborhood, a Sunni enclave in central Baghdad, when they were waylaid by unidentified gunmen in three cars at 10:15 a.m.

The insurgents then abducted at least 15 passengers and took them to a nearby abandoned government building, a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

The buses were heading from Baghdad's central Bab al-Mudham bus station to the city's eastern Shiite neighborhoods.

The fighting began when Iraqi security forces reached the scene about 30 minutes later, police said.

According to Iraqi police, at least two U.S. helicopters were hovering overhead and U.S. forces had taken up positions near the fighting, but were not directly involved.

Sunni insurgents have repeatedly clashed with U.S. and Iraqi forces in the Fadhil area, which is also known for its high crime rate.

Comments
Capital outflow from Russia sets new records
Putin prepares bitter and hysterical missile surprise to 'American partners'
Putin prepares bitter and hysterical missile surprise to 'American partners'
Austria will not ruin its friendship with Russia despite spy scandal
The difference between Polish and Ukrainian nationalism is plain to see
Russia unveils nuclear-powered interstellar spaceship
The difference between Polish and Ukrainian nationalism is plain to see
Russia loses nuclear-capable cruise missile in Barents Sea. US intelligence finds it
Russia loses nuclear-capable cruise missile in Barents Sea. US intelligence finds it
Russia loses nuclear-capable cruise missile in Barents Sea. US intelligence finds it
Russia loses nuclear-capable cruise missile in Barents Sea. US intelligence finds it
Capital outflow from Russia sets new records
Russia close to recognising Donetsk and Luhansk republics after Donbass elections
Russia's game in Libya
US midterm elections: Impeachment unlikely, Russophobia getting stronger
Capital outflow from Russia sets new records
Russian PM threatens not to go to World Economic Forum in Davos
Russian PM threatens not to go to World Economic Forum in Davos
Russia close to recognising Donetsk and Luhansk republics after Donbass elections
Presidential and midterm elections in the USA change the 'American project' entirely
Presidential and midterm elections in the USA change the 'American project' entirely