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  Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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The murderers and kidnappers of the staff members of the Russian embassy will be severely punished
The murderers and kidnappers of the staff members of the Russian embassy will be severely punished, says a statement of the Iraqi foreign ministry, which was circulated here on Monday. “We shall not show leniency to those who attack the guests of our country. The criminals will face trial and will be severely punished,” the statement said. According to its information, all possible measures are being taken for securing the release of the Russians. Specifically, a special committee was urgently created after the attack on the Russians, which is coordinating the search for the hostages. “This cowardly crime should not affect in any way the traditionally strong, fraternal relations between Russia and Iraq. The people, who initiated the crime, cannot be called the sons of Iraq. They are accomplices of terrorism, who seek to strike a blow at the security and stability of their country,” the statement continued. On Saturday afternoon a car belonging to the Russian embassy was blocked and attacked by militants in El Mansur District, not far from the embassy. Vitaly Titov, a staff member of the embassy, was killed during the attack. The other four Russians – Third Secretary Fyodor Zaitsev and the staff members Rinat Agliullin, Anatoly Smirnov and Oleg Fedoseyev – were taken away by the extremists. Their whereabouts are not known. Many representatives of the political and religious circles of Iraq, as well as the Arab League, denounced the capture of the Russians. Sheikh Adnan al Duleimi, the leader of the Iraqi Accordance Front, which is the largest Sunni political bloc in the country, urged the kidnappers “not to do harm to the hostages, taking into consideration the consistent stand of the Russian leaders and people with regard to Iraq.” Several reports about the release of the Russians appeared several times since the day of their capture, but every time they were refuted. Nothing is known about the hostages so far.
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