U.S. citizen killed in central Baghdad -police sources

Iraqi security forces stand guard outside the hospital where the body of a U.S. citizen who was killed in Baghdad is being held

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A U.S. citizen was killed on Monday in central Baghdad after a failed attempt to kidnap him, Iraqi police sources said.

The body was taken to a hospital in the capital's Karrada district and an initial hospital report indicated that the death was caused by a bullet, the sources added.

A police source said the victim was carrying an identity card showing his job as an English teacher.

Another police source said armed men in a vehicle opened fire at an SUV carrying the victim and shot him dead.

"Our initial investigation and eyewitnesses showed that armed men were trying to kidnap the American citizen," an Iraqi police major said.

Iraq's state news agency (INA) said that the country's armed forces' commander-in-chief gave an order to form an investigative committee into the killing of the U.S. citizen.

The U.S. State Department was aware of reports of an American killed in Iraq and was looking into them, department spokesperson Ned Price said.

"We would of course notify the next of kin before making any public comments," Price said at a regular press briefing.

(Reporting by Baghdad newsroom; additional reporting by Daphne Psaledakis in Washington; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Bill Berkrot)