The abduction of two Algerian diplomats and their driver July 21 was the latest attack on foreign governments operating in Iraq. Algeria's top Iraq envoy Balarousi Ali, his driver and another diplomat were in front of the al Saa restaurant in Baghdad's fashionable Mansour district when their Toyota Land Cruiser was ambushed and blocked in by gunmen in a Volkswagen Vento and a Daewoo. The diplomats were accompanied by a number of guards, but their abductors apparently managed to carry out the operation without engaging them. The abduction occurred in the same part of Baghdad where Ihab al-Sharif, Egypt's top envoy to Iraq, was kidnapped on July 2. Jihadists later claimed to have executed him. The insurgents' goal in abducting foreign diplomats is to prevent Iraq's new government from gaining diplomatic recognition and legitimacy. The attacks have focused on diplomats from other Muslim countries, with the envoys from Pakistan and Bahrain narrowly escaping assassination attempts in early July.
July 20 MOSUL — Insurgents use machine guns to ambush an Iraqi police patrol moving toward western Mosul, killing seven officers and wounding one. (JIHADIST) MOSUL — Gunmen attack an Iraqi police lieutenant colonel's vehicle, killing the driver and wounding the officer. (SUNNI NATIONALIST) July 21 BAQUBAH — Militants blow up a shrine holy to Shiites, damaging its dome overnight. Meanwhile, the Iraqi army says it has arrested 200 suspected insurgents in a two-day sweep near the city. (JIHADIST) AL MAHMUDIYAH — A suicide car bomber attacks an Iraqi Army checkpoint 20 miles south of Baghdad, killing five soldiers and injuring several others. (JIHADIST) BAGHDAD — A suicide car bombing at an Iraqi Army checkpoint in the suburb of Bueitha kills one soldier and injures six. (JIHADIST) BAGHDAD — Unidentified gunmen assassinate three members of the Qadisiyah provincial council in western Baghdad's Khadra neighborhood. (UNKNOWN) BAGHDAD — An employee of the Ministry of Trade is gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Sadr City. (SUNNI NATIONALIST) BAGHDAD — Explosives are thrown into the compound of a British security firm in the Yarmouk neighborhood. (SUNNI NATIONALIST) BAGHDAD — Balarousi Ali, Algeria's top diplomat in Iraq, his driver, and Azzedine Belkadi, another diplomat are abducted in Western Baghdad's Mansour district. (UNKNOWN) LATIFIYAH — An Iraqi patrol is attacked with a roadside bomb south of Baghdad, killing three soldiers and injuring three. (SUNNI NATIONALIST)