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.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Judges in Alta. custody case ordered boy not to wear girls clothes in public

    Canada News CTV News
    MEDICINE HAT, Alta. -- A gender identity expert says judges need more education after two Alberta family court judges ruled a child born a boy can't wear girls clothes in public. Kris Wells, with the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta, says the case shows some judges need their attitudes challenged and corrected. Source
  • Liberals to bring Yazidi survivors of ISIS genocide to Canada within 4 months

    Canada News CBC News
    The federal government is committing to take urgent steps to bring Yazidi refugees to Canada within four months. Immigration, Refugees and CItizenship Minister John McCallum announced during question period today that Liberals will support a wide-ranging motion from the Opposition Conservatives to help survivors of ISIS genocide. Source
  • Dog trapped in well for almost a month showing strong will to live: vet school

    Canada News CTV News
    SASKATOON -- A chocolate Labrador retriever trapped in a well for almost a month is responding to special care from animal medical clinicians and a nutritionist. Seven-year-old Bruno is listed as stable in the intensive care unit at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon. Source
  • Alberta taps climate change fund to help farmers reduce CO2 emissions

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- Alberta is tapping into its industrial carbon levy fund to help the farm sector reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The province says it will spend $10 million to expand existing programs that encourage producers to use energy efficient equipment and solar power. Source
  • Woman dies after allegedly throwing herself onto highway to escape abusive husband

    World News Toronto Sun
    An Oklahoma mother of five hurled herself out of a moving car allegedly to escape her abusive husband, friends say. Brianne King, 33, was riding in the passenger’s seat of a vehicle being driven by her husband Michael Muller, when police suspect she opened the vehicle door and threw herself onto a busy highway last Tuesday, according to local station KFOR-TV. Source
  • Why one piece of evidence mattered so much in Dennis Oland murder case

    Canada News CTV News
    From the earliest days in Dennis Oland's murder trial, the Crown faced an uphill battle to convince jurors that a precarious balance of circumstantial evidence added up to a guilty verdict. Nonetheless, in December jurors found the member of the clan that owns Moosehead Breweries guilty of the second-degree murder of his father, as family members wept loudly in the Saint John courtroom. Source
  • Teens arrested after students beaten, horse punched at Philadelphia university

    World News CTV News
    Philadelphia police say they've arrested four teens on assault charges in flash mob attacks around Temple University in which college students were beaten, an officer was knocked down and a police horse was punched in the face. Source
  • Protesters occupying Muskrat Falls site putting themselves at risk: Nalcor

    Canada News CTV News
    MUSKRAT FALLS, N.L. -- The Crown corporation in charge of the Muskrat Falls megaproject says it is worried about the safety of protesters who broke into the sprawling construction site on the weekend. Stan Marshall, CEO of Nalcor Energy, issued a statement today saying about 50 protesters entered the Labrador site Saturday and occupied an accommodation complex, prompting the company to remove about 700 workers from the grounds. Source
  • South African opposition says ICC withdrawal is illegal

    World News CTV News
    JOHANNESBURG -- South Africa's main opposition party on Monday tried to block a government plan to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, saying the move is illegal and that the country's top court should intervene. Source
  • Suspect in Oklahoma cop shooting posts taunting video online

    World News Toronto Sun
    OKLAHOMA CITY - Authorities are hunting for a man suspected of killing his aunt and uncle, shooting two police officers, stealing a patrol car and carjacking other vehicles in a violent rampage in the Oklahoma City area, all while apparently taunting law enforcement via social media. Source