The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad confirmed that “several” Americans were missing there after reports that three U.S. nationals were kidnapped in Iraq’s capital.
Fox News reported that State Department spokesman John Kirby also confirmed that the U.S. government was “aware” of the reports and is working with Iraqi authorities to locate the missing Americans.
“We are aware of reports that American citizens are missing in Iraq,” Kirby stated. “The safety and security of American citizens overseas is our highest priority. We are working with the full cooperation of the Iraqi authorities to locate and recover the individuals. Due to privacy considerations, I have nothing further.”
According to AFP, an anonymous Iraqi police official said that the kidnappers were militiamen wearing military uniforms. The official later said that three Americans and an Iraqi translator were abducted in the southern part of the city.
A Bagdad police official told the Washington Post that the Americans were likely abducted by Shiite militiamen in the southern Dora neighborhood, which is controlled by Shiite militias, including one that is backed by Iran, Asai’b Ahl al-Haq.
A senior security official in Baghdad told CNN that the abducted Americans are contractors.
“A company filed a report Sunday about three of its staff going missing. … They are American contractors. We are looking into this report,” the official said.
U.S. officials have not yet specified the number of Americans abducted.
This post will be updated as further information becomes available.