The remains of three Russian diplomats and an intelligence officer who were kidnapped and murdered in Iraq in 2006 have been discovered, the Rosbalt news agency reported on Tuesday, quoting a source in the Russian security services.
“A search for the bodies of our colleague and the embassy officials have not been halted for even one day since their deaths in Iraq in 2006,” the source said. “We achieved our goal. Their remains were recently discovered on Iraqi territory and delivered to Moscow.”
DNA tests confirmed that the remains belonged to Oleg Fedoseyev, an officer with the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), and three employees of the Russian embassy in Iraq, Fyodor Zaitsev, Rinat Agliulin and Anatoly Smirnov, he said.
The four Russians were kidnapped on June 3, 2006, when a group of unknown men attacked their car near the Russian embassy in Bagdad, and later murdered. Another Russian national, Vitaly Titov, who is also believed to have been an SVR officer, was killed in the ambush.
The Mujahideen Shura Council, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated Iraqi militant group, claimed responsibility for the murders, which it said was a revenge for the Russian authorities’ refusal to stop the killing of fellow Muslims during the war in Chechnya.
Requests for comment sent by RIA Novosti to the Russian Foreign Ministry and Foreign Intelligence Service went unanswered as of late Tuesday afternoon.