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Author Topic: Four Americans and an Aussie kidnapped in Iraq  (Read 435 times)
Diesel1
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« on: November 17, 2006, 08:46:31 AM »

Four Americans and an Austrian have been kidnapped from a convoy of civilians in southern Iraq, US and Iraqi sources have said.

The convoy of 19 vehicles, operated by a Kuwaiti security service, was reportedly attacked near Basra as it headed towards Nasiriya on Thursday.

Unconfirmed reports say the Austrian has been killed and an American wounded, but details are unclear.

The foreigners taken were all security contractors. Nine civilians were freed.

'Rescue raids'

Unconfirmed reports said the incident took place at a bogus checkpoint.

A spokesman for Crescent Security Group, which operated the convoy, said the nine civilians who were freed included men from India, Pakistan and the Philippines.

Reports said British and US forces had mounted raids in the area to find the hostages.

British military spokesman Tane Dunlop told Associated Press news agency there had been a battle with gunmen but it was not known whether the kidnappers were involved.

The Crescent Security Group spokesman told AP: "I'm not sure what the British and US military have put in motion, and I don't want to release too much information in case it compromises whatever they may be doing."

Crescent works mainly in Iraq. Its website says it "conducts convoy escort duties for an ever-growing number of coalition militaries, embassies, government contractors".

The family of an American man, Paul Reuben, 39, confirmed to US media it had been informed that he was among those captured.

His sister-in-law, Jennifer Reuben, said he had called last week to say he planned to come home because of increasing violence.

Nasiriya is the capital of Dhi Qar province, which was returned to Iraqi control in September.

Hijackings and abductions are frequent in southern Iraq but those kidnapped are generally freed, unlike in the Sunni strongholds further north.

Baghdad abductions

Separately, there is still confusion over the kidnapping of scores of education ministry workers in Baghdad on Tuesday.

Sunni and Shia leaders cannot agree whether all the hostages have now been freed.

The Sunni higher education minister said more than half the 150 victims were still being held.

But interior ministry spokesman Brig Gen Abdul-Karim Khalaf said all the ministry employees were free, although some others taken from the building were still being held.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6157082.stm
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Camel Jockey
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2006, 08:49:04 AM »

Sad, but an everyday reality in Iraq. They would be kidnapping and killing each other if we weren't there. More reason to bail outta Iraq right away!
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