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Civilian Convoy Hijacked in Iraq

November 17, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A convoy of civilians traveling near Nasiriyah, in southern Iraq, was hijacked Thursday, according to the Pentagon. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said that preliminary reports suggested there could be as many as 14 people captured and that the convoy included about 19 vehicles.

He said he had no new details on the attack, adding that British forces were working with Iraqis to determine what happened. He would not say whether U.S. forces were involved.

Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, confirmed that a convoy was attacked in the southern region of Iraq, but he also provided no other details. ABC News reported that four of the civilians captured were Americans and that the convoy was being operated by the Crescent Security Group.

A spokesman for the company contacted by The Associated Press said he could not provide any information until he was able to determine what happened.

Italy formally handed over security responsibility of the southern Dhi Qar Province to Iraqi forces in late September, and British troops handed over control of the adjacent southern Muthana province in July.

Nasiriyah is the provincial capital of Dhi Qar.

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