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Iraq Transition

U.S. offers $50,000 to help find missing soldier

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. military has put up a $50,000 reward for anyone who helps find an American soldier kidnapped in Baghdad, the Army said Saturday.

The 42-year-old Army Reserve specialist, Ahmed K. Altaie, was abducted on October 23 when he left the Green Zone, the heavily fortified section where the United States maintains its headquarters, to visit his Iraqi wife and family.

"The coalition will pay up to $50,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the recovery of specialist Altaie," the statement said.

Altaie was at "a relative's home when three cars pulled up to the residence," U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said last week. "The hostage-takers handcuffed him and forced him into one of their vehicles."

More than 2,000 coalition forces and 1,000 Iraq security forces have been searching for the Iraqi-American reservist, who was working as a translator.

Caldwell said troops have detained 32 people in the operation. One coalition soldier has been killed and eight U.S. soldiers and two Iraqi security force members have been wounded in the effort to find Altaie and his kidnappers.

Much of the search has focused on Sadr City, a sprawling slum in Baghdad that is the stronghold of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mehdi Army militia, and an area called the Karrada peninsula, Caldwell said.

CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.


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