Thirty-five Iraqi men are missing Wednesday after being abducted following failed bids to be accepted into a police training academy, police said.
The aspiring police trainees were seized Monday when their bus was stopped about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Baghdad after leaving the Iraqi capital bound for the city of Samarra, said Col. Malik al-Khezraji.
The missing men traveled to Baghdad among a group of about 230 Iraqis trying to enter a police training academy, but were not admitted and heading home when they were stopped by masked assailants.
Police said they found out about the abduction after a man fled the bus and raised the alarm. The whereabouts of the missing men was not immediately known, the AP reports.
Iraqi police and recruits have been routinely targeted by insurgents determined to destroy Iraq's post-Saddam Hussein reconstruction process.