US and Iraqi govt work to find missing US citizens

  • 18/01/2016

The US government is aware of reports that three US citizens have gone missing in Iraq and is working with Iraqi authorities to find them, a US State Department official says.

"We are aware of reports that American citizens are missing in Iraq," the State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said on Sunday (local time) when asked about pan-Arab news channel Al Arabiya's report that three US citizens were said to have been kidnapped in Baghdad.

"We are working with the full co-operation of the Iraqi authorities to locate and recover the individuals."

The US embassy in Baghdad has confirmed that "several" Americans are missing in Iraq after local media reported three Americans had been kidnapped in the Iraqi capital.

US embassy spokesman Scott Bolz said on Sunday (local time): "We are working in full co-operation with Iraqi authorities to locate the missing Americans."

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

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 Diyala province last week that killed more than 50 people, including a high-profile attack on a mall in the Iraqi capital.