Iraqi forces deploy in Baghdad neighbourhood after kidnapping

BAGHDAD -- Iraqi security forces fanned out across the Baghdad neighbourhood Monday morning where three Americans were reportedly kidnapped over the weekend, closing streets and conducting house-to-house searches.

See Full Article

An Iraqi government intelligence official told The Associated Press the Americans were kidnapped from their interpreter's home in the southern Baghdad neighbourhood of Dora. The kidnapping occurred, the official said, after the Americans were invited into the home of their interpreter. The individuals were then taken to Sadr city, the official said, "after (the kidnapping) all communications and contact stopped in Sadr city."

The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to brief the press.

A local policeman in Dora said the individuals were taken from their car on Saturday along a highway in southwest Dora while driving to Baghdad International Airport. The two differing accounts of the events could not immediately be reconciled. The policeman spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to brief the press.

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.

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.

Col. Steve Warren, the Baghdad based spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group, confirmed that the individuals were civilians.

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.

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

Following the IS takeover of Iraq's second largest city Mosul and large swaths of territory in the country's north and west, Iraq has witnessed a deterioration in security as government forces were sent to front lines and Shiite militias were empowered to aid in the fight following the collapse of the Iraqi military.

Last month a Qatari hunting party was kidnapped in Iraq's south by unidentified gunmen and their whereabouts are still unknown. In September 18 Turkish workers were kidnapped from their construction site in Baghdad's Sadr city by masked men in military uniforms. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi blamed organized crime for the kidnapping. The workers were released later that month.

Associated Press writer Murtada Faraj contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 'Like Monty Python': N.B. drug conviction set aside after English woman tried in French

    Canada News CTV News
    FREDERICTON -- A New Brunswick court has set aside a woman's drug trafficking conviction after her trial was mistakenly conducted in French for no apparent reason. "I hate to say it, but it sounds like a Monty Python movie," said John McEvoy, a law professor at the University of New Brunswick. Source
  • ATU ruling a big win for all Canadian workers

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Canadian workers won a huge victory this week. For two generations, Canadian workers have been taking back control of our unions, and a court ruling on Tuesday marked a major milestone to secure members’ rights. The Ontario Superior Court ruling was clear and decisive on the recent trusteeship of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113, representing nearly 11,000 Toronto transit workers, and restored Bob Kinnear as president. Source
  • France opens full fake jobs inquiry into centre-right candidate Fillon

    World News CTV News
    PARIS -- The French financial prosecutor's office decided Friday to open a judicial inquiry surrounding the allegedly fake parliamentary aide jobs that conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon gave to his wife and two of his children. Source
  • 'We invited the pool'; White House defends decision to bar news outlets from press briefing

    World News Toronto Sun
    The White House has downplayed the decision Friday to block various news organizations from an off-camera briefing, saying the press pool was there. News organizations including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN and Politico were blocked from joining a White House media gaggle, according to news reports. Source
  • Officials: Donald Trump adviser asked FBI to dispute Russia reports [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON - White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked top FBI officials to dispute media reports that Donald Trump’s campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the election, according to three White House officials who confirmed the unusual contact with law enforcement involved in a pending investigation. Source
  • Six men face charges after RCMP foil alleged Cape Breton cocaine conspiracy

    Canada News CTV News
    DARTMOUTH, N.S. -- Nova Scotia RCMP say a drug trafficking investigation that began in Cape Breton has uncovered a conspiracy to import more than one tonne of cocaine into Canada from Colombia. Mounties say six people face a total of 23 charges in the 18-month-long investigation, dubbed Operation Halfpenny. Source
  • White House bars major news outlets from media briefing

    World News CTV News
    News organizations including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN and Politico were blocked from joining a White House media gaggle, according to news reports. The Associated Press chose not to participate in the gaggle following the move by White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Source
  • Conservative Party leadership contenders hold debate in Ottawa

    Canada News CBC News
    The 14 contenders for the Conservative Party leadership are aiming to stand out from the crowd during a debate at the Manning Centre Conference Friday. The debate is taking a slightly different format, dividing the field of leadership hopefuls into four groups to allow for longer answers and more exchanges between candidates. Source
  • Sideshow incubator baby Lucille Horn dead at 96

    World News Toronto Sun
    MINEOLA, N.Y. — Lucille Conlin Horn weighed barely two pounds when she was born, a perilous size for any infant, especially in 1920. Doctors told her parents to hold off on a funeral for her twin sister who had died at birth, expecting she too would soon be gone. Source
  • Agency publishes timetable for Mexico border wall

    World News CTV News
    SAN DIEGO -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it plans to start awarding contracts by mid-April for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall. The agency said Friday on a website for federal contactors that a request for bids would be published on or around March 6. Source