(From Reuters)

US and Iraqi authorities were searching on Monday for three Americans who were kidnapped in Baghdad, the latest group of foreign nationals abducted in recent months.

Iraqi security forces search a building as they clear al-Sajarya district on the eastern outskirts of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province

The three US nationals were kidnapped from a “suspicious apartment”, a security official said, using language implying the location was a brothel.

Kidnappers have recently seized Qataris and Turks, but it has been years since Americans were abducted, and Iraqis have suffered the most from kidnappers seeking ransoms or to settle scores.

The Islamic State (IS) group, which overran large areas in 2014, has abducted thousands of people and carried out a slew of executions, while Shiite paramilitary forces opposed to the jihadists have also carried out kidnappings and killings.

Iraqi parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi condemned the rise in “cases of foreigners being kidnapped in Iraq,” saying it would harm the country’s relations with other states.

“The kidnapping of the American citizens yesterday, and before them the Qatari hunters, whose fate is still unknown, without a doubt indicates the increasing work of organised gangs in Iraq,” Juburi said in a statement. Read More

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