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Middle east

Shiite militant group says it’s holding two US hostages

Latest update : 2010-02-07

A radical Shiite group in Iraq claimed Sunday that it has two US hostages, including an American contractor captured from Baghdad last month. The second American was captured two years ago, the group said.

AFP - Radical Shiite Islamists who claim to have kidnapped a US military contractor of Iraqi origin said on Sunday they are also holding a second American hostage captured two years ago.
   
"Two Americans are in the hands of the League of the Righteous," said an official from the militant group, which on Saturday aired a video it said was of Issa Salomi, a civilian employee the Pentagon said went missing in Baghdad two weeks ago.
   
"One was taken two years ago and the other some days ago," the official said on condition of anonymity.
   
The Pentagon confirmed on Saturday that Salomi -- an American citizen of Iraqi origin employed as a contractor for the US military -- has been missing since January 23.
   
The US embassy in Baghdad has not make any comment on Salomi or the second US citizen whom the militants claim to be holding.
   
The official said Salomi was captured in Karkh, on the west bank of the Tigris river in Baghdad, and the other captive was taken in Karrada, a busy business district in the heart of the Iraqi capital.
   
The League of the Righteous told AFP it abducted Salomi in response to the Iraqi government's failure to release its members from US-run jails and because of fresh arrests.
   
The militant group kidnapped British IT expert Peter Moore and his four bodyguards, also Britons, in Baghdad in May 2007.
   
Moore was released unharmed in December last year but all his guards are thought to have been killed. Three of their bodies have so far been returned.

Date created : 2010-02-07

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