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

  • Saudi Arabia to open movie theatres after more than 30 years of ban

    World News CTV News
    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi Arabia says it will allow movie theatres to open in the conservative kingdom next year, for the first time in more than 35 years. It’s the latest move as part of the young crown prince’s efforts to socially reform the country. Source
  • Firefighters brace for second week of California wildfires

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES - Officials say the largest, most destructive wildfire burning in Southern California is expected to grow as it enters its second week. The Thomas Fire north of Los Angeles has burned more than 700 square kilometres, prompted tens of thousands of evacuations and destroyed nearly 800 structures. Source
  • American man escapes from prison on Bali

    World News CTV News
    BALI, Indonesia - An American citizen detained for a drug offence escaped Monday from an overcrowded and under-staffed prison on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. Head of Kerobokan prison Tonny Nainggolan said Christian Beasley, 32, was believed to have escaped at around 4 a.m. Source
  • Rodrigo Duterte asks Philippine congress to extend martial law

    World News CTV News
    MANILA, Philippines - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has asked Congress to extend by one year the martial law he declared in the south to ensure the "total eradication" of pro-Islamic State group extremists. Duterte warned that extremists continue to plot public uprisings aimed at establishing a caliphate in Southeast Asia despite a failed but disastrous attempt to set up one in the southern Philippines. Source
  • U.S. looking to counter Iran in post-war Iraq, diplomat says

    World News CTV News
    BAGHDAD - As Iraq emerges from three years of war with the Islamic State group, the U.S. is looking to roll back the influence of neighbouring Iran and help the central government resolve its dispute with the Kurdish region, the American envoy to the country told The Associated Press. Source
  • Melbourne to test terrorism alarm system

    World News CTV News
    MELBOURNE, Australia - Melbourne will test a terrorism alarm system this month after police thwarted two alleged plots targeting Christmas-New Year crowds and a lone driver killed six pedestrians in the last year in Australia's second-largest city. Source
  • Rape of Rohingya women sweeping and methodical: report

    World News CTV News
    UKHIA, Bangladesh - An Associated Press investigation has found that the rape of Rohingya women by Myanmar's security forces has been sweeping and methodical. The AP interviewed 29 women and girls who said they were raped by Myanmar's armed forces. Source
  • Venezuela's ruling socialists romp to victory in mayoral elections

    World News CBC News
    Venezuela's ruling socialists swept nearly all the races for mayors across the country, and President Nicolas Maduro is now threatening to ban key opposition parties from future elections in the oil-rich country wracked by economic crisis. Source
  • Mississauga trailer park residents slam housing development plans

    Canada News CTV News
    MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - A plan to tear down a small mobile home park for a new housing development in Mississauga, Ont., has the small community of over 200 homes wondering where they'll have to move and has seniors wondering how they'll be able to afford a new house on their fixed income. Source
  • South Korea imposes new sanctions on North Korea

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- South Korea added several North Korean groups and individuals to its sanctions list Monday in a largely symbolic move that is part of efforts to cut off funding for the North's weapons programs. Source