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Iraq: US citizen shot dead in Baghdad in suspected kidnap attempt

Man, who had lived in Iraq for two years, was killed after a failed attempt to kidnap him, police sources said
Iraqi security forces stand guard outside the hospital where the body of a US citizen, who was killed in Baghdad, is being held, on 7 November 2022 (Reuters)

A US citizen, who had lived in Iraq for two years, was killed on Monday in central Baghdad after a failed attempt to kidnap him, Iraqi police sources said.

The body was taken to a hospital in the capital's Karrada district and an initial hospital report indicated that the death was caused by a bullet, the sources added.

A police source said the victim was carrying an identity card showing his job as an English teacher.

Another police source said armed men in a vehicle opened fire at an SUV carrying the victim and shot him dead.

"Our initial investigation and eyewitnesses showed that armed men were trying to kidnap the American citizen," an Iraqi police major told Reuters.

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Iraq's state news agency (INA) said the country's armed forces' commander-in-chief gave the order to form an investigative committee into the killing of the US citizen.

The US State Department was aware of reports of an American killed in Iraq and was looking into them, department spokesperson Ned Price said.

"We would of course notify the next of kin before making any public comments," Price said at a regular news briefing.

Karrada is a lively commercial district in the heart of the Iraqi capital.

Security has significantly improved in Iraq since the declared defeat of the Islamic State group in late 2017, though sporadic attacks persist, usually targeting Iraqi security forces.

Armed attacks on foreign nationals are, however, uncommon despite the spread of weapons among civilians.

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