The United States yesterday expelled 36 Iraqi Embassy personnel and placed tight new travel restrictions on the remaining Iraqi officials in retaliation for the invasion of Kuwait, the seizure of American hostages and the "illegal order" to close the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait City, the State Department announced yesterday.

At the same time, seven more Americans were seized in Kuwait and Iraq by Iraqi soldiers and taken to other locations. Six were taken to the Regency Hotel in Kuwait City by the soldiers, State Department spokesman Margaret Tutwiler said. One American was reportedly seized from a job site in Iraq and taken to an undisclosed location, she added.

{An American man being held in Iraq has died of an apparent heart attack, Reuter reported early this morning. A State Department spokesman said Iraqi officials had notified the United States that the body of the man, who was in his mid-50s and was not further identified, would be turned over to U.S. officials after an autopsy, Reuter reported.

{The Iraqis said an American would be allowed to participate in the autopsy, according to the spokesman. The body was being held in the city of Basra in southeastern Iraq.}

The new reports brought to 63 the number of Americans rounded up by Iraq in recent weeks. President Saddam Hussein has said the Americans, along with British nationals, are being held as "guests" at key military and industrial installations. President Bush has said they are hostages and demanded their release.

Despite daily protests, Tutwiler said, "We have not had any information from the Iraqi government about any of our citizens that they are holding as hostages." When U.S. officials have asked, she said, they are being given "the same old rigamarole that is ridiculous and outrageous."

Meanwhile, 52 dependents of U.S. Embassy personnel in Kuwait, including 33 children, crossed into Turkey early yesterday morning, but three college-age male dependents were turned back at the border by Iraqi authorities "despite repeated pledges from the government of Iraq that they would be allowed to leave," Tutwiler said. A senior U.S. official said that there were conflicting signals at the border and that the three -- who were visiting their families at the time of the invasion -- were escorted back to Baghdad by a U.S. Embassy official.

Most of the dependents from the embassy in Kuwait are due to arrive at Andrews Air Force Base tonight. They crossed the border from Iraq to Turkey in the early morning hours yesterday and were whisked down the empty "Silk Road" to the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir before flying on to the joint Turkish-American air base of Incirlik.

In Kuwait, water and electricity remained cut off to the embassy staff, but Ambassador W. Nathaniel Howell and the small group of employees still there have enough food and water for several days as well as auxiliary power, Tutwiler said.

There were reports of more Americans fleeing Kuwait and Iraq. In Amman, Jordan, police said 15 Americans flew in from Baghdad and three came overland through the Ruweished border post, Reuter reported. Nineteen Japanese, three Britons, an Italian, an Australian, a Norwegian, a Finn, a French national and six United Nations staff members arrived by air.

Two of the Americans who passed through the border post, Nasser Hirmiz and Lee Jacob, both of San Diego, said they had been visiting their parents in Baghdad when Iraq invaded Kuwait Aug. 2. They said they had been advised by U.S. officials in Baghdad to stay off the streets because Iraqi authorities had grabbed Arab-looking Americans and conscripted them.

Embassy officials in Amman had no word on the identity of the Americans who arrived by air. Police said they were not diplomats.

As the flood of refugees continued to pour out of Iraq, a Filipino technician told Reuter that Iraqi troops are sending squads to scour fashionable apartment buildings in Kuwait City in search of westerners. The Filipino, who asked not to be identified by name, said he had witnessed the searches before fleeing Friday.

"Two or three soldiers were guarding entrances of apartment blocks. In the street dozens of Iraqi soldiers in vehicles were on alert, pointing their guns towards the apartments," he said. The technician said he knew of a group of 12 British, Canadian and American friends hiding in one apartment in an area where the search was closing in.

"I don't know whether the Iraqis found them. In the end, they can't escape. There are checkpoints every 40 meters in that area," the technician said.

About 240,000 Arab, Asian and Western evacuees have fled the Persian Gulf to Jordan since the invasion, according to Reuter, and Amman has appealed for international aid to cope with the huge tide. Tutwiler said yesterday that the United States has pledged $1 million in aid to Jordan. The U.S. help also includes food aid, 500 tents, 14,875 five-gallon water jugs, and $300,000 for the international committee of the Red Cross for its emergency activities on the border.

Turkish border officials, meanwhile, estimated that about 10,000 foreign nationals, in addition to about 4,000 Turkish workers in Iraq and Kuwait, have crossed into Turkey via the Habur Gate, and that a larger crunch of refugees is expected this week.

Under the orders issued by the State Department yesterday, Iraq's embassy was reduced from 55 to 19 officials. U.S. Officials said the level of 19 was selected to be strictly reciprocal with the level of Americans now working at the Kuwait and Baghdad embassies.

Among the 36 expelled are seven accredited diplomats, including everyone in the embassy's commercial department. Tutwiler said the administration felt there was no justification for commercial officers to remain here when the United Nations has imposed a trade embargo on Iraq. Although the expulsion order does not explicitly specify it, the officials must take their families with them, officials said.

Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger summoned Iraqi Ambassador to the United States Mohamed Sadiq Mashat to the State Department yesterday morning to inform him of the expulsions and the new restrictions, which were formally outlined in a pair of diplomatic notes dispatched to the embassy in the afternoon.

"Unlike how the Iraq government is handling things, we are handling our diplomatic relations exactly by the letter of the law," Tutwiler said.

The ambassador had no comment to reporters who questioned him outside the embassy yesterday. The Iraqis were given 72 hours to leave the country.

Travel by the remaining 19 Iraqi officials will be confined to within 25 miles of the embassy, Tutwiler announced. This restriction is similar to one placed on Iraqi officials in earlier years when Iraq was listed by the State Department as a nation sponsoring terrorism. The travel restriction was relaxed in the early 1980s, however, as the U.S. sought closer ties with Baghdad during the Iran-Iraq war.

The new restrictions do not apply to Iraqi diplomats and personnel at Iraq's mission to the United Nations, Tutwiler said, because of U.S. obligations as the host country to the international body.

The State Department also ordered new restrictions on Iraqi diplomatic visas, saying they would no longer be valid for multiple entries into the United States, but must be reissued each time an official wants to enter the country. Further restrictions are also planned on visa applications for Iraqis who are not government officials, Tutwiler said. In addition, "use of Iraqi embassy funds for students and other allegedly humanitarian needs will be closely controlled," she said.

In a statement announcing the expulsions, Tutwiler said they were a response to a host of Iraqi actions, including the "brutal aggression against Kuwait," a "blatant disregard for international law and the norms of civilized society," the "overthrow" of Kuwait's legitimate government, setting up a "wholly illegitimate puppet government," and the "purported annexation" of Kuwait.

She said the objectionable Iraqi actions also included "denial of the essential right of departure of tens of thousands of foreign nationals in Kuwait and Iraq," "forcible removal" of Americans and others, denial of access to them by consular officials and "institution of a large-scale hostage policy, using foreign hostages, including American citizens, as human shields."

The expulsions were a response "in particular" to "the illegal order to close our embassy in Kuwait," she added.

On Sunday evening, ambassadors from 34 nations with embassies in Kuwait were given a description of the U.S. actions by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David P. Mack and, at the urging of the United States, some have indicated they intend to take similar measures, Tutwiler said. The meeting included the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Egypt and the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Tutwiler said at least 25 nations still have embassies open and staffed in Kuwait City.

The United States is also considering further steps, Tutwiler said, but she did not elaborate.

She also announced that Secretary of State James A. Baker III has decided to cut short his vacation and return to Washington today to join President Bush and Defense Secretary Richard B. Cheney for a briefing on the gulf crisis for congressional leaders.

ufbybioStaff writer Keith Kendrick contributed to this report from Washington and special correspondent Thomas Goltz from Turkey.