Gunmen have kidnapped a British man and two Americans from a house in an affluent central Baghdad neighbourhood, the latest in a nearly six-month campaign of abductions of foreigners in Iraq.
Police said they had found the corpse of a man believed to be a Westerner near the town of Samarra, north of Baghdad.
The body was bloated, suggesting the man had been dead for some time, the police said.
As well as the two Americans and the Briton, four Europeans are known to have been taken hostage in the past few weeks -- two male French journalists and two Italian female aid workers.
Militants posted video footage on the Internet purportedly showing the killing of three Arabic-speaking truckers, who were also shown warning others against working with U.S. forces in Iraq. In northern Iraq, gunmen kidnapped a Syrian truck driver, informs Reuters.
According to the Xinhua News, "I can confirm for you the US embassy has informed us that two American citizens were abducted this morning from their residence in the city's Mansour district," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said at a news briefing.
"We are working to contact family members of the two Americans ... Our embassy is also in contact with local authorities in Baghdad to ascertain the welfare and the whereabouts of these US citizens," Boucher said.
Military expert Vladimir Orlov expressed the opinion that the Pentagon is preparing to strike at least four Russian regions.