U.S. Embassy says several Americans missing in Iraq

BAGHDAD -- The U.S. Embassy confirmed Sunday that "several" Americans have gone missing in Iraq, after local media reported that three Americans had been kidnapped in the Iraqi capital.

See Full Article

U.S. Embassy spokesman Scott Bolz said, "We are working in full co-operation with Iraqi authorities to locate the missing Americans."

Bolz did not identify the missing Americans or say what they were doing in Iraq.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said that "due to privacy considerations" he had nothing further to add about the missing Americans. "The safety and security of Americans abroad is our highest priority," Kirby said.

The comments by U.S. officials came after the Arab news channel, al-Arabiya, citing its own sources, reported that three Americans had been kidnapped by militias in Baghdad.

Iraqi media reports said the Americans went missing in south Baghdad on their way to Baghdad International Airport. A Western security official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media, said Sunday that he had been told that three Americans went missing 24 to 48 hours ago.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Kidnappings in Iraq have been carried out by the Islamic State group and Shiite militias as well as criminal gangs demanding ransom payments or disgruntled employees seeking to resolve workplace disputes.

The incident comes after a week that has seen a deterioration of security in and around the Iraqi capital after months of relative calm.

The Islamic State group claimed a number of attacks in Baghdad and neighbouring Diyala province last week that killed more than 50 people, including a high profile attack on a mall in the Iraqi capital. The string of IS attacks on civilian targets within areas of Iraqi government control follow battlefield losses, most recently in western Iraq. Last month, Iraqi troops pushed IS fighters out of the centre of Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar province in Iraq's Sunni heartland.

In acts of apparent reprisal, armed gangs residents identified as Shiite militias, attacked Sunni owned businesses and mosques in Diyala province just north of Baghdad. After IS was pushed out of the province, security there was left almost entirely in the hands of Shiite militias.

Responding to a call to arms from Shiite clerics in Iraq after the Islamic State group swept across the country's northern and western provinces in the summer of 2014, Shiite militias in Iraq now wield more power than the country's regular security forces and military.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Murder trial to begin for Alta. man charged after couple, grandson disappear

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY - A murder trial is to begin today for a man charged with first-degree murder in the disappearance of an Alberta couple and their grandson. Douglas Garland, 56, was arrested after Alvin and Kathy Liknes and five-year-old Nathan O'Brien vanished from the couple's Calgary home in June 2014. Source
  • Ont. police issue Amber Alert for missing girl, 15

    Canada News CTV News
    MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Police have issued an Amber Alert for a teenage girl they say was abducted Sunday afternoon in Mississauga, Ont. The victim is identified as Alyssa Langille, 15. Peel Regional police say a witness reported seeing two men force the girl into a mini-van early Sunday afternoon and then drive off. Source
  • The only skill needed to spin for Trump? A total lack of shame

    World News CBC News
    Spinner. Flack. Liar. Whatever your preferred term, a political spokesperson's job is to bend his or her politician's words into a passable version of the truth. It's not a job for the faint-hearted; it's full of pressure, the positions you defend can be obnoxious and you labour away under the sword of Damocles or, rather, its modern equivalent: the fast-moving bus. Source
  • Douglas Garland murder trial begins Monday in deaths of Calgary couple and their grandson

    Canada News CBC News
    The triple murder trial for the man accused of killing five-year-old Nathan O'Brien, and his grandparents Alvin and Kathy Liknes, will hear testimony from the boy's mother first, as it gets underway Monday morning in Calgary. Source
  • B.C. Indigenous leaders accuse Bennett of 'stall tactics' on child welfare

    Canada News CBC News
    B.C. Indigenous leaders are "extremely concerned" about the state of First Nations child welfare, and, in a strongly worded letter, are accusing Canada's Indigenous affairs minister of using "stall tactics" to delay fixing the broken system. Source
  • Andrew Scheer leads endorsement race in Conservative leadership campaign

    Canada News CBC News
    In his bid for the Conservative Party leadership, Andrew Scheer has the bulk of endorsements from current and former politicians. But because of the rules of the campaign, the contest will be decided in favour of the candidate who can garner the broadest base of support nationwide. Source
  • 'Secret order' authorizing RCMP's covert Cold War wiretapping program released after 65 years

    Canada News CBC News
    The "secret order" that authorized Canada's first warrantless domestic wiretapping program at the dawn of the Cold War threatened five years in prison to anyone who revealed the dragnet's existence, the newly released document shows. Source
  • Trump may be inaugurating an era of market failure in economics and ideas: Don Pittis

    World News CBC News
    Cynics may believe that business is based on a pack of lies, but at every level of business, from buying a used car to a billion-dollar stock deal, truth is precious. Investors have been pouring their money into stock markets on the assumption that U.S. Source
  • Oman says it will accept 10 Guantanamo Bay detainees

    World News CBC News
    Oman said Monday it accepted 10 inmates from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay ahead of President Barack Obama leaving office, part of his efforts to shrink the facility he promised to close. There was no immediate word from the U.S. Source
  • World Economic Forum begins with air of uncertainty as Trump presidency nears

    World News CBC News
    The global economy is in better shape than it's been in years. Stock markets are booming, oil prices are on the rise again and the risks of a rapid economic slowdown in China, a major source of concern a year ago, have eased. Source