No word on missing U.S. soldier in Baghdad as search continues Tuesday

Tuesday, October 24th 2006, 5:55 am
By: News On 6

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ After 24 hours of house-to-house searches in an upscale Baghdad neighborhood, the U.S. military still had not found a U.S. soldier who was missing and believed kidnapped.

U.S. and Iraqi forces threw a security cordon around the central Karradah district on Monday night and Iraqis seeking to pass through the downtown area on Tuesday were turned away at roadblocks. Army Kiowa OH-58 reconnaissance helicopters were seen repeatedly circling the area in pairs.

U.S. soldiers patrolling Karradah showed photocopies of the man's photograph to residents in a search for leads.

The missing soldier's name and other personal details have not been officially released, although American troops who raided Baghdad's al-Furat TV on Monday said they were looking for an abducted American officer of Iraqi descent who went to join family members in Karradah.

``We have not heard anything,'' Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, an American spokesman in Baghdad, said Tuesday. ``We are sure U.S. forces are doing everything they can in the search.''

A U.S. military official in Washington on Monday said the man was a U.S. Army translator of Iraqi descent who may have been abducted. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the information was not cleared for release.

The last time U.S. soldiers were reported missing was in June, when two soldiers were abducted during an attack on their checkpoint in Baghdad. The soldiers were later found dead, their bodies brutalized, the military said. One of the soldiers had been beheaded.

Al-Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility for killing the soldiers, and said the successor to terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had ``slaughtered'' them, according to a Web statement that could not be authenticated.

Few American soldiers have been kidnapped by insurgents in Iraq, due largely to strict military procedures for those on patrol or at checkpoints.

The U.S. military has strict rules for soldiers operating outside their bases, designed to ensure they are under supervision and also to protect them. All soldiers leaving their bases are supposed to be accompanied by a noncommissioned officer and travel in at least two vehicles.