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by Dave Gradijan

American Security Contractors Abducted in Iraq

Nov 17, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Four American security contractors and an Austrian contractor were abducted in Southern Iraq in the town of Safwan on Thursday when their convoy was stopped by men pretending to be police officials, reports.

As of Friday morning, the men were still missing and no party had claimed responsibility for the act or requested ransom, according to

The news comes from a representative of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad who spoke with the media on a condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose information to the press, reports.

The security contractors were with a convoy of 43 supply trucks and a half-dozen security vehicles when insurgents disguised as police officials at what seemed to be a checkpoint stopped them, the official said, according to Nineteen of the more than 40 trucks were hijacked, as well as one security vehicle, and 14 individuals were also abducted. In addition to the five security contractors, nine drivers of Indian, Pakistani and Philippine descent were taken but later released unharmed, said George Picco, general manager of the Crescent Security Group—which employs the contractors—according to

Such contractors are used frequently by the U.S. military in Iraq for such duties as driving vehicles, translations and interrogations, reports.

Upwards of 60 foreigners have been kidnapped and reported executed by insurgents in Iraq since the U.S. invasion of 2003, with 41 killed in 2004, 13 in 2005 and another six in 2006, according to Reuters.

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-Compiled by Al Sacco