American Kidnapped with Three Others in Baghdad
Insurgents seized four hostages, including one U.S. resident, as they worked at their Baghdad office Monday, the BBC reported. Earlier Monday gunmen murdered Baghdad’s deputy governor, Hatem Kamil Abdul Fatah, in a drive-by shooting south of the city. None of the identities of the four victims was immediately available, with conflicting reports circulating among various officials. However, most sources said two of the victims were Arabs, and one was a U.S. citizen.
The abductions, which reportedly left one kidnapper dead, occurred in the Mansour district of the capital. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but officials said Muslim insurgents were almost certainly behind the crime.
Dozens of foreigners have been seized in Iraq in recent months, including Margaret Hassan, a charity worker for Care International, who was taken Oct. 19 as she went to work.
An American and three other foreigners were kidnapped Monday from their office in western Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. An Iraqi guard and one attacker were killed in a gunfight during the abduction, a police lieutenant said. Interior Ministry spokesman Col. Adnan Abdul-Rahman said the other kidnap victims included an Asian and two Arabs but he did not know their nationalities. U.S. Embassy spokesman Bob Callahan confirmed that the fourth victim was an American. Abdul-Rahman said the victims were believed to be working for a Saudi company but he had no further details.
A US citizen, two Arabs and an Asian are reported to have been kidnapped at gunpoint from their office in Baghdad. “They stormed the villa with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades,” a police source told the Reuters agency. “They had no chance.”
Earlier on Monday gunmen assassinated the deputy governor of Baghdad, Hatem Kamil Abdul Fatah, in a drive-by shooting in the south of the city. The attack came as efforts began to register voters for January’s polls.
“A group of armed men kidnapped an American, an Asian – maybe Nepalese or Sri Lankan – and two Arabs from their offices in Mansour,” a district of Baghdad, said Colonel Adnan Abdul Rahman, an interior ministry spokesman. The nationality of the two Arabs taken hostage was not known.