17 November 2006

Americans Taken Hostage

These are the types of reports that I hate to hear. It sounds as if three Americans remain captive following an attack on a civilian convoy yesterday near Nasiriyah.
A convoy of civilians was hijacked in southern Iraq Thursday and up to 14 people were abducted, the U.S. military said. Four Americans were believed to be among the captives, an official said. source

An Austrian was killed and an American was seriously wounded after their convoy of security contractors was hijacked in southern Iraq, an Iraqi police officer said Friday.

The body of the Austrian hostage was brought to a morgue in the city of Basra at 2:30 p.m. local time Friday, and the wounded American captive was taken there so he could be transferred to a British military hospital, the Basra officer said on condition of anonymity out of concern for his own security. [...]

A total of five Crescent Security Group workers — an Austrian and four Americans — were taken hostage from the convoy, but nine other civilian employees from Asian countries such as India, Pakistan and the Philippines were released by the captors, the company said. source
According to a Twin Cities ABC affiliate, one of the Americans in the convoy was Paul Reuben, a former St. Louis Park police officer who had been working as a contractor in Iraq since 2003. There has been no report, however, as to whether or not Reuben is the injured American who was transferred to the British military hospital.

I truly hope that this turns out with the remaining hostages being freed or rescued, but I'm concerned that this situation will not end well. The Americans were apparently security contractors, and I am afraid that their occupation, coupled with the desire by the terrorists to show the world that they are in control in Iraq, will lead to demands for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. and Coalition troops in exchange for the lives of the hostages. I'm just spit-balling here, but this one has a lot of potential to become very ugly, very quickly.

Please pray for the hostages; they can use all the help they can get.


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