BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ An American and three other foreigners were kidnapped Monday from their office in western Baghdad during ``an exchange of fire,'' an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

The American, an Asian and two non-Iraqi Arabs were seized in the operation, which took place in the capital's Mansour district, said the spokesman, Col. Adnan Abdul-Rahman.

He said first reports indicated shots were fired but he didn't know by whom. He said the victims were believed to be working for a Saudi company but he had no further details.

In September, Militants kidnapped two Americans and a Briton from their offices in Mansour. All three were later beheaded.

More than 160 foreigners have been abducted this year by militants with political demands or by criminals seeking ransom. At least 33 captives have been killed.