Iraq group claims kidnapping of US contractor

An Iraqi group said it kidnapped an American military contractor in Iraq , hours after an Internet video showed the captive man wearing a US military uniform.

Iraq group claims kidnapping of US contractor

An Iraqi group said on Saturday it kidnapped an American military contractor in Iraq , hours after an Internet video showed the captive man wearing a US military uniform.

A senior leader of Asaib al-Haq, or Leagues of Righteousness, said the abducted contractor, whom he did not name, was seized because the government was not keeping a promise to free Asaib al-Haq supporters from prison.

"The government is carrying out many violations against us," the leader told Reuters, asking not to be identified.

In a video distributed on Saturday, the abducted contractor said he was in good health and was being treated kindly. He wore a U.S. military uniform and spoke in English.

He said his captors demanded the release of all detained members of their group, and that guards of the U.S. security firm Blackwater be prosecuted for a shooting in a Baghdad in 2007 in which 14 Iraqi civilians died.

Asaib al-Haq also demanded the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraqi soil. Around 115,000 U.S. soldiers remain in Iraq, almost seven years after the invasion.

The U.S. military in Iraq declined to comment on the video.

Instead, it distributed a U.S. Department of Defense statement issued on Friday that said a civilian employee of U.S. forces in Iraq, Issa T. Salomi, 60, of El Cajon, California, had been unaccounted for since Jan. 23.

The Asaib al-Haq leader said his group was also negotiating with the Iraqi government over the handover of the body of a U.S. contractor kidnapped and killed in 2006 by another group.

He said his group had received the body of the contractor, identified as Ahmed Qusay al-Taie, from the other militant organisation and would release it once it received an assurance from his wife that she would not sue Asaib al-Haq.

Asaib al-Haq splintered from the Mehdi Army of Moqtada al-Sadr.

The Iraqi government last month released one of Asaib al-Haq's leaders, Qais al-Khazali.


Agencies

Last Mod: 07 Şubat 2010, 16:30
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