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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

3 Westerners Abducted in Baghdad

BAGHDAD -- Gunmen in police uniforms kidnapped at least three Western lecturers in Baghdad on Tuesday, a witness said, as eight more U.S. soldiers were reported killed in the deadliest month this year.

The gunmen seized the lecturers and several of their bodyguards from an Iraqi Finance Ministry building in central Baghdad, a witness said.

Eight U.S. soldiers died in attacks across Iraq, the military said, taking the May death toll to at least 112, the United States' deadliest month since December, when the same number died.

At least 38 people were also killed in two separate bombings in Baghdad, the worst such blasts in a busy commercial area of the capital.

Police identified the lecturers as German and said up to four were seized when gunmen entered the ministry building. The British Embassy declined immediate comment on media reports that the bodyguards were British.

The British government's top-level emergency committee will meet Tuesday to discuss the kidnapping of several British nationals in Iraq, a government spokeswoman said.

The gunmen entered the lecture room led by a man wearing a police major's uniform, the witness said.

"Where are the foreigners, where are the foreigners?" the gunmen shouted, said the witness, who was in the conference room.

Police said about 40 gunmen sealed off streets around the three-story computer science building belonging to the ministry before they went inside.

The witness in the Finance Ministry said another lecturer had escaped being abducted because he was sitting apart from his colleagues.

The lecturers, all men and employed by a U.S. organization, had given at least 12 lectures over the past year.

Six U.S. soldiers died when explosions hit their vehicles Monday in the Diyala province north of Baghdad.

Two were killed in a helicopter crash when they came under fire north of Baghdad.