Americans missing in Baghdad kidnapped by Iran-backed militia: U.S., Iraqi sources

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 19, 2016 2:32 PM

BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three U.S. citizens who disappeared last week in Baghdad were kidnapped and are being held by an Iranian-backed Shi'ite militia, two Iraqi intelligence and two U.S. government sources said on Tuesday.

The U.S. sources said Washington had no reason to believe Tehran was involved in the kidnapping and does not believe the trio are being held in Iran, which borders Iraq.

"They were abducted because they are Americans, not for personal or financial reasons," one of the Iraqi intelligence sources in Baghdad said.

The State Department on Sunday said it was working with Iraqi authorities to locate Americans reported missing, without confirming they had been kidnapped.

(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli in Baghdad and Mark Hosenball and Lesley Wroughton in Washington; Writing by Stephen Kalin; editing by John Stonestreet)