03:10 - Source: CNN
Three Americans reported missing in Baghdad

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Iraqi official said a criminal gang probably abducted the 3 contractors

Gunmen grabbed the men Friday in Baghdad's Dora neighborhood

CNN —  

Three American contractors missing in Iraq were kidnapped, the Iraqi defense minister said Thursday.

An organized crime gang is believed to be behind the abductions, Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi told reporters in Baghdad.

The contractors were visiting a house in Dora, a district in southern Baghdad, when gunmen abducted them, he said.

He didn’t know if the gang was Shiite of Sunni but said the criminals were known for previous incidents of kidnapping and blackmailing.

The three contractors had been identified as two Iraqi-Americans and one Egyptian-American.

An Iraqi official said the missing men work for a security service company called Sallyport, but a spokesman for Michael Baker International, Sallyport’s parent company, said the report was false.