Eight Russians Hostage in Iraq, Chinese Freed


Russia confirmed on Tuesday that eight of its nationals working for an energy company had been taken hostage in Iraq.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said on Tuesday the government still did not have a clear outlook on the situation of three Japanese civilians kidnapped in Iraq.

The U.S. military said a total of seven American civilian contractors, as well as two U.S. soldiers, were missing. The contractors worked for U.S. company Kellogg, Brown & Root and went missing after an attack on a U.S. fuel convoy on Friday.

Russia, which opposed U.S.-led military operations in Iraq and has refused to contribute any forces to the U.S.-led coalition there, has about 600 specialists working in Iraq, mainly in the oil sector.