Three Americans kidnapped by 'militiamen' in Baghdad
Unidentified gunmen in the Iraqi capital Baghdad kidnapped three American security contractors and their Iraqi interpreter on Sunday, according to Iraqi security sources.
The Americans who work for a private security company that contracts for the US military were abducted on the highway linking the southern Baghdad suburb of al-Dawrah to Baghdad International Airport.
"The Americans were dressed in civilian clothing and were travelling in a private vehicle when they were abducted with their interpreter," a police officer told The New Arab.
"Initial reports suggest that the abductors were wearing army uniforms when they stopped the vehicle and forced the passengers out before taking them to an unknown location," added the officer.
The officer stressed that it was too early to determine whether members of armed militias abducted the men, or terrorists connected to the Islamic State group (IS).
Meanwhile, The New Arab correspondent in Baghdad reported that the army and police have cordoned off the southern Baghdad area were the abduction took place and were conducting intensive searches to locate the three Americans and their Iraqi interpreter.
A US State Department official said they are aware of the reports of the missing American citizens in Baghdad and are working with Iraqi authorities to find them.
"We are aware of reports that American citizens are missing in Iraq," spokesman John Kirby said.
"The safety and security of American citizens overseas is our highest priority."
Without identifying the missing persons, Kirby added: "We are working with the full cooperation of the Iraqi authorities to locate and recover the individuals."