Authorities in Iraq say gunmen have kidnapped an American, an Asian and two Arabs from an office in western Baghdad.

Police at the scene in the affluent al-Mansour district said armed men barged into the offices of a Saudi trade and contracting company and clashed with guards before escaping with their captives. Police say one guard and one kidnapper were killed.

The nationalities of the Asian and Arab captives were not immediately clear.

Militants and criminals in post-war Iraq have kidnapped scores of foreigners, some of whom have been killed.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.