Sunday the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad confirmed “several” Americans had disappeared in Iraq and the State Department said it was working with Iraqi authorities to locate them amid multiple reports of a kidnapping.
Al Arabiya first reported the news that three Americans were kidnapped. The U.S. government didn’t immediately confirm a kidnapping or the number of people involved.
“We are aware of reports that American citizens are missing in Iraq,” State Department spokesperson John Kirby told Fox News. “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.”
U.S. Embassy spokesman Scott Bolz said Sunday that “We are working in full cooperation with Iraqi authorities to locate the missing Americans.”
Three Americans and an Iraqi translator were kidnapped in southern Baghdad by militiamen wearing military uniforms, according to an Iraqi police colonel.
A spokesman for Baghdad’s Joint Operations Command told The Washington Post that the three citizens were Iraqis who had acquired U.S. citizenship. 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.