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French charity says four aid workers missing in Iraq

Hundreds of thousands of protesters marched through Baghdad on Friday calling for US troops to leave Iraq, heeding the call of powerful Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr who called for a "Million Man March." CNN's Arwa Damon reports.

Posted: Jan 24, 2020 6:31 AM
Updated: Jan 25, 2020 5:30 AM


Four aid workers from a French Christian charity have gone missing in Iraq and an investigation is underway to locate them, the organization said.

French non-governmental organization, SOS Chrétiens d'Orient (Christians of the Middle East), confirmed three French and one Iraqi national went missing in Baghdad on Monday.

The charity workers were conducting 'administrative tasks,' including a visit to a new school opening, the NGO said in a statement on Friday.

The charity said there have been no ransom demands so far, and that French and Iraqi authorities are currently coordinating an investigation to find them.

'They disappeared between two meetings. They were on a mission authorized by the French Embassy,' Jeanne der Agopian, spokesperson for SOS Chrétiens d'Orient, told CNN.

According to the agency, the employees were expected to drive to an appointment on Monday afternoon.

After several unsuccessful attempts to contact the aid workers on Tuesday, SOS Chrétiens d'Orient alerted the French authorities on Wednesday.

SOS Chrétiens d'Orient's mission is to help Christians in the region. The organization added the missing had a 'thorough knowledge of the crisis areas' and 'followed a security protocol adapted for the region.'

In December, a French journalist was kidnapped close to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad but was released 24 hours later.

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