Several Americans missing in Iraq

The US 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.

US Embassy spokesman Scott Bolz said, "We are working in full cooperation 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 US 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 authorised to brief the media, said Sunday that he had been told that three Americans went missing 24 to 48 hours ago.

The incident comes after a week that has seen a deterioration of security in and around the Iraqi capital after months of relative calm.

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