US embassy in Baghdad warns of kidnapping threats

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ARA News

Erbil – The United States’ embassy in Baghdad issued a security warning on Thursday to all American citizens in Iraq. The warning, included a vivid description of the attempted kidnapping of an NGOs’ staff, riding in Mosul-bound aid convoys.

“US Embassy – Baghdad has received reports of attempts to kidnap US citizen non-governmental organization staff riding in vehicle convoys to provide aid to Mosul,” the US embassy said in a statement.

“Militants demanded to see passports for all travelers in convoys and searched specifically for US citizens,” the embassy reported.

It’s unclear which group has threatened US citizens, but in the past American contractors have been kidnapped by Iranian-backed Shia militias in Iraq.

In January 2016, three US citizens were kidnapped by militants loyal to the Shiite Mahdi Army. They were eventually handed over to the US embassy.

The US embassy reminded its charges: “US citizens should maintain a heightened sense of security awareness and take appropriate measures to enhance their personal security at all times when living and working in Iraq.”

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg 

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