Official: Gunmen kidnap senior sport official near Baghdad

The head of Iraq’s National Olympic Committee says unknown gunmen have kidnapped a senior sport official near Baghdad.

Raad Hamoudi tells The Associated Press on Wednesday that his deputy, Bashar Mustafa, was taken away by gunmen in civilian cars while traveling from the city of Karbala to Baghdad on Tuesday afternoon.

Hamoudi says a motive is still unclear and an investigation is underway. He didn’t give more details.

Mustafa, a Kurd, is also the head of Iraq’s Boxing Federation.

Since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Iraqi athletes and sports figures have endured kidnappings and assassinations by different militant groups.

In 2006, gunmen kidnapped the previous chairman of the National Olympic Committee, Ahmed al-Hijiya, along with at least 30 officials in a brazen daylight raid on a sports conference in Baghdad.

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