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Iraq Transition

2nd mass kidnapping in Iraq; martial law extended

Story Highlights

NEW: U.S. distributing new uniforms to keep insurgents from posing as police
• Kidnappers seize 14 people from computer stores in Baghdad Monday
• 2nd kidnapping in 2 days by gunmen dressed as Iraqi security forces
• Martial law extended until November 1

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- For a second day, gunmen dressed as Iraqi government forces staged a mass kidnapping Monday, raiding several computer stores in central Baghdad and seizing at least 14 people, a Baghdad emergency police official told CNN.

The abductions were carried out by at least 25 gunmen impersonating Iraqi security forces. The kidnappers, traveling in seven vehicles, raided computer stores near Baghdad's Technology University around noon (5 a.m. ET).

On Sunday, at least 20 gunmen, several disguised as police commandos, kidnapped 26 workers from a Baghdad meat processing plant, according to a Baghdad emergency police official.

The U.S. military began distributing new Iraqi police uniforms last week, in an effort to prevent insurgents from pretending to be police while carrying out kidnappings and attacks.

Some insurgent attacks are believed to have been carried out by militia members who have been integrated into Iraq's security forces, but have not changed their loyalties.

In an effort to stem the lawlessness on the streets of Baghdad and across much of Iraq, the Iraqi parliament Monday voted to extend martial law until November 1.

Martial law, which has been in effect for several months, includes a nighttime curfew and gives the government extra powers to make arrests without warrants and launch police and military operations when it deems necessary. The law will cover all of Iraq except the autonomous Kurdish areas in the north.

In other violence on Monday, three roadside bombs in Baghdad killed three people and wounded nine others, including three Iraqi soldiers, police said.

Earlier in the day, two Iraqi policemen were killed and three other officers were wounded when gunmen ambushed their patrol in Kut al-Hay, a Kut health center official told CNN. Kut al-Hay is located about about 125 miles (200 kilometers) south of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, in Kut, about 40 miles (60 kilometers) south of Baghdad, the morgue Monday received five bodies that were recovered from the town of Suwayra a day earlier. Three of the bodies had been decapitated.

Police say such killings are typically the result of Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence.

Three U.S. Marines died Sunday in Anbar province, west of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Monday.

"One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 and one Marine assigned to 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group died from injuries sustained due to enemy action," a statement released Monday said.

"One Marine assigned to 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group died from a noncombat related vehicle accident," the statement said.

With the deaths, 2,710 U.S. military personnel have been killed in the Iraq war. Seven American civilian contractors of the military also have died in the conflict.

The British Ministry of Defense Monday confirmed the death of a British soldier, killed Sunday in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

The soldier, a member of the Royal Army Medical Corps, died in an attack on the Shaat Al Arab Hotel base in Basra, the MOD said. Another soldier was seriously injured in the attack.

With the death, 117 British soldiers have died in the Iraq war.

Iraq: We'll get al Qaeda leader, dead or alive

Iraq's national security adviser Sunday issued a warning to the new leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, telling Abu Ayyub al-Masri that Iraqi troops are close to getting him "either as a corpse or tied up to face justice soon."

Muwaffak al-Rubaie showed reporters a video captured during a recent raid that he said showed al-Masri training followers to make car bombs.

He estimated that al-Masri has been involved in making more than 2,000 car bombs that have killed more than 6,000 Iraqis over the past two years. (Watch the video -- 40)

"We want to tell Abu Ayyub al-Masri that we are so close to you, much more closer than you thought," al-Rubaie said.

Al-Masri, also known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, is an Egyptian who took over the leadership of al Qaeda in Iraq in June after the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Other developments

  • Police found 50 unidentified bullet-riddled bodies, some with signs of torture, scattered across the Iraqi capital on Sunday. Police believe the killings are the result of Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence. Meanwhile, there was no let-up in attacks across Iraq Sunday. At least six bombings wounded 25 people and killed four others.
  • Saturday night, gunmen shot and killed a Shiite sheik who headed the local office of the Shahid al-Mihrab organization, which is funded by Iraq's leading Shiite political party, a police official told CNN. Sheik Numan al-Nassri was killed near his home in Diwaniya, a predominantly Shiite city about 110 miles (180 kilometers) south of Baghdad.
  • Two U.S. soldiers were killed Saturday by small arms fire in Iraq's volatile Anbar province, according to a military news release. The soldiers were assigned to the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary.)
  • The U.S. military also said Sunday that a U.S. soldier died from injuries suffered in a Humvee accident near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Saturday. The Task Force Lightning soldier was assigned to 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, based out of Fort Lewis, Washington, the military said.
  • CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq, Arwa Damon and Jomana Karadsheh contributed to this report.

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