The new public protector says she will leave the dispute over the state capture report prepared by h.
BAGHDAD - Many of the hostages seized in a daylight raid on a government building in Baghdad were tortured and some were killed.
Higher Education Minister Abed Dhiab al-Ujaili, a Sunni Arab member of the Shiite-led unity government, said 75 hostages, 40 of them his ministry's staff, remained in captivity after the raid by militiamen wearing police-style uniforms.
"Those who were set free told us that a few of the hostages have been killed, while most of them were tortured," he said.
"I'm very concerned about their welfare," he said of the remaining hostages.
The minister's comments come as the sectarian violence in the Iraqi capital shows no let-up.
Gunmen stormed a bakery in the mixed Zayuniyah neighbourhood and killed nine Shiite staff in the latest in a spate of attacks by Sunni insurgents on a trade traditionally carried out by the majority community.
Three other civilians were killed in attacks in the capital, one by a bicycle bomb near a petrol station, and two in a car bombing near a court.
Ujaili said he was stepping down from government until effective action was taken against Shiite militias, which have infiltrated Iraq's security forces and are suspected of involvement in the abductions.
"The police force should be investigated and should put the right people in the right place."
Witness reports that the car loads of militiamen who carried out the raid in a normally peaceful neighbourhood of Baghdad were wearing police uniforms raised renewed accusations of collusion.
Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh has played down the mass abduction on Wednesday, insisting that 39 people had been abducted, of whom just two were still held captive. - Sapa-AFP