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A number of Westerners have reportedly been kidnapped from a finance ministry building in central Baghdad.
There is confusion over the number and nationality of those involved.
Witnesses said it was carried out by what appeared to be a police unit.
The street was sealed off at both ends and the kidnappers, in police camouflage uniforms, walked straight past guards at the finance ministry building on Palestine Street, the witnesses said.
It is well known that the Iraqi police are heavily infiltrated by militia groups, leading to split loyalties and corruption, our correspondent says.