Hundreds of Iraqi and US troops cordoned off sections of Baghdad's Sadr City slum early Wednesday and conducted a series of raids in an apparent effort to find five British citizens abducted from a nearby government building the day before, local residents and police said.
British Embassy officials held ongoing talks Wednesday with Iraqi officials to discuss the situation, Britain's Foreign Office said.
Britain's COBRA crisis committee was also to meet for the second day.
The five men were pulled out of a Finance Ministry office by about 40 heavily armed men in police uniforms in broad daylight Tuesday and driven in a convoy of 19 four-wheel-drive vehicles toward Sadr City, according to the British Foreign office in London and Iraqi officials in the Interior and Finance ministries.
A senior Iraqi official said the radical Shi'ite Mahdi Army militia was suspected in the attack.