Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrives for a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jacquelyn Martin/Pool
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Iraq's prime minister said Friday that there appears to be no political motivation behind the recent abduction of three Americans in Baghdad, saying the men seem to have been taken by "criminal gangs".Separately, Iraqi and Western security officials claimed two powerful Shiite militias – Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Saraya al-Salam – are the top suspects in the abduction.If a Shiite militia does prove to be responsible for the abductions, it could fuel longstanding accusations that al-Abadi's government is unable to control these state-sanctioned paramilitary squads -- which have grown in strength as Iraqi security forces battle ISIS.Asaib Ahl al-Haq, Iranian-backed and one of the most powerful Shiite militias operating in Iraq, has repeatedly spoken out against the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq in the fight against ISIS.
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