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By Abigail Williams and Alastair Jamieson

Three Americans missing in Iraq might not have been kidnapped, Iraq's prime minister said Thursday.

The State Department — and Iraqi officials — have been working to locate Americans, who were reported missing over the weekend. One Iraqi official told NBC News authorities believed a Shiite militia, many of which have ties to Iran, was holding the Americans.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio also suggested the Americans were kidnapped by Iran-backed militias, saying the incident might be tied to the recent release of U.S. prisoners in Iran.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, however, said Thursday he wasn't aware of any Iranian link in the case of the missing Americans.

"I doubt it very much," he said ahead of a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Switzerland.

"We don't know that they were kidnapped," he added. "They just went missing."