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Moscow denies any rescue operation to free abducted Russians in Iraq

Written by: Staff
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Moscow, June 6 (UNI) Russian Foreign Ministry today denied news reports that Moscow was planning to dispatch special forces to Iraq to free the diplomats who were kidnapped in Baghdad on June 3.

''We do not know where the information came from. It has nothing to do with reality,'' Deputy Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry Information Department Andrei Krivtsov told Interfax news agency.

Unidentified gunmen attacked a Russian embassy vehicle last Saturday in Baghdad. One Russian diplomat was killed and four others were kidnapped.

There was still no information on the whereabouts of the abducted employees of the Russian embassy in Baghdad.

''We do not have any new information on the kidnapping,'' a spokesman for the embassy told the agency.

Meanwhile, leaders of the Russia's Muslim community today expressed their readiness to leave for Iraq to assist in securing the release of the Russian diplomats.

''Should there be such a necessity, representatives of the Muslim community are ready to immediately leave for Iraq and to actively participate in releasing our compatriots,'' a joint statement by Russian Council of Muftis chief Ravil Gainutdin and President of the Islamic Culture Centre in Russia Abdul-Vakhet Niyazov said.

UNI XC PR GC1743

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