Americans missing in Baghdad kidnapped by Iran-backed militia: 4 sources

Updated 20 January 2016

Americans missing in Baghdad kidnapped by Iran-backed militia: 4 sources

BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON: Three US citizens who disappeared last week in Baghdad were kidnapped and are being held by an Iranian-backed Shiite militia, two Iraqi intelligence and two US government sources said on Tuesday.
The US 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.
Unknown gunmen seized the Americans on Friday from a private residence in the capital’s southeastern Dora district, according to Iraqi officials.
The Iraqi government has struggled to rein in the Shiite militias, many of which fought the US military following the 2003 invasion and have previously been accused of killing and abducting American nationals.
No US citizens have been abducted in Iraq since US troops withdrew from the country in 2011.
The State Department said on Sunday it was working with Iraqi authorities to locate Americans reported missing, without confirming they had been kidnapped.


Saudi Arabia offers condolences to UAE president on passing of brother Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed

Updated 8 min 20 sec ago

Saudi Arabia offers condolences to UAE president on passing of brother Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed

DUBAI: The UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced the death of Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, representative of the UAE president.
A statement issued by the presidency declared three days of official mourning in the UAE.
Sheikh Sultan is the brother of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the president of the UAE, who is also the supreme commander of the Union Defense Force and the chairman of the Supreme Petroleum Council. 
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent cables of condolences to Sheikh Khalifa and his family, as well as Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, and the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum.