BAGHDAD, Iraq – The U.S. Embassy confirmed the name of an American kidnapped six weeks ago in a deadly attack in the Iraqi capital, and his family pleaded Friday for his release.
Roy Hallums, a worker for a Saudi company that does catering for the Iraqi army, was seized Nov. 1 along with two other foreigners after a gunbattle in the upscale Mansour neighborhood. An Iraqi guard and one attacker were killed.
Hallums' wife, Susan, of Corona, Calif., said in a telephone interview Friday that she has not heard from the kidnappers. She is separated from her husband, the father of two daughters.
"I want to plead for his life and send out prayers and hope that he will be released," Susan Hallums said. "There has been no proof of life since he was taken."
The embassy confirmed Hallums' name and abduction but would give no other details.
Roy Hallums, Filipino accountant Robert Tarongoy (search), a Nepalese worker, Inus Dewari, and three Iraqis employed by the Riyadh-based Saudi Arabian Trading and Construction Company (search) were taken away after the gunfight. The Iraqi hostages and the Nepalese were freed later.
Philippine officials said Nov. 9 that the kidnappers had demanded the release of Abu Ghraib (search) prisoners and a huge ransom in exchange for the freedom of Hallums and Tarongoy.
Late last month, Philippines Foreign Secretary Rafael Seguis said: "We are still in touch with the intermediaries of the group, who up to now have not identified themselves. ...I have been instructed to double our efforts."
Twelve Americans have been kidnapped or are missing in Iraq. At least three Americans have been killed — all beheaded in abductions claimed by an Al Qaeda-linked group led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (search).
More than 170 foreigners have been abducted this year by militants with political demands or by criminals seeking ransom; more than 30 captives have been killed.