The BBC reports that unconfirmed sources claim that up to three Americans and a translator have gone missing at the southern end of Baghdad on Friday. The individuals are believed to have been kidnapped and an official spokesman from U. S. Department of State, John Kirby, issued a statement.
“We are working with the full co-operation of the Iraqi authorities to locate and recover the individuals.”
U. S. officials did not elaborate on the number of Americans being held or who they believe is holding them, but unconfirmed sources among Iraqi security circles have indicated that four peope were abducted, three of which are American nationals. These sources come from CNN and claim that those being held are contractors that have been missing since Friday.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) January 17, 2016
It is not clear as to what kind of contractors they are, but the source claimed by CNN is a senior security official who chose to remain anonymous for the time being due to the fact that he is not permitted to speak to the media.
“A company filed a report Sunday about three of its staff going missing two days ago. They are American contractors. We are looking into this report.”
The men were taken by gunmen from an apartment in the Dora neighborhood of the Iraqi capital on Friday.
This story is developing and will be updated as new information arrives.
US Embassy confirms several Americans have gone missing in Iraq, after media reported that three were kidnapped https://t.co/1N8ziDrvqG
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) January 17, 2016
This is a developing story and will be updated as new information arrives.
The Wall Street Journal now reporting that the Americans abducted were done so by Iran-backed Shiite militia forces. The kidnappings indicate the deterioration of Iraqi police and military. Since 2014, Shiite militias such as these have become commonplace throughout Iraq. Their general funding is known to come from Iran and some are even designated as terrorists according the U. S. government.
As of Monday, militia leaders have denied any involvement in the abductions.
Two of the Americans captured are security contractors hired to train Iraqi special forces.
“An Iraqi military official identified two of the three people on Monday as Amro Mohammed, an Egyptian-American, and Wael al-Mahdawy, an Iraqi-American,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
The third person is a woman named Russel Furat. They are all american nationals.
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