Baghdad: Masked gunmen on Tuesday kidnapped the chief of Iraq's boxing federation and vice-president of its Olympics Committee, seizing him from a car south of Baghdad, an official said.

The group of around 20 men in masks and military uniforms abducted Bashar Mustafa at a fake checkpoint near the bridge in Musayyib, said Abdel Redha Ali, secretary of the boxing federation.

"They let my car past and then seized Bashar Mustafa from the second car and drove him to an unknown destination in a convoy of five off-road vehicles," he said.

Originally from the Kurdish region of Dohuk, Mustafa has been the head of the Iraqi boxing federation for 14 years.

The area in which he was abducted is in what became known as the "triangle of death" following the US-led invasion of 2003.

In July 2006, the head of Iraq's Olympics Committee, Ahmad Al Hijia Al Samarrai, was kidnapped in Baghdad and never found again.