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Iraqi Police Officials Say An American, Two Iraqis Kidnapped Near Basra

Iraqi police officials say an American contractor and his two Iraqi interpreters have been kidnapped near the southern city of Basra.

The officials say the three were seized Friday in an ambush north of Basra. A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy says the embassy is aware of the reports and is investigating.

No further details were immediately available.

In other news, Iraqi officials say mortars fired into a busy Baghdad market killed four people in the Zafaraniya neighborhood.

Authorities also say four Iraqi soldiers were killed in an ambush at a checkpoint in Duluiyah, north of the capital.

Separately, the U.S. military says Iraqi forces captured four alleged terror cell leaders Wednesday in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood, and one suspected terror cell leader in Ramadi Tuesday.

The military also says Iraqi troops freed two hostages in eastern Baghdad Thursday, and seized a cache of weapons, including mortars, improvised explosive devices, and projectiles encased in concrete.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.