Suspected ISIS fighters kidnap civilians, kill five in Iraq's disputed Khanaqin
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – At least five people were killed in what appeared to be an ambush by suspected ISIS militants in Iraq's disputed territory of Khanaqin. Members of the terrorist group also kidnapped a number of civilians, according to witnesses and security sources.
The incidents occurred overnight near Qala village in the Qara Tapa sub-district, Khanaqin district, in northeastern Diyala province. The assailants first kidnapped two villagers, local eyewitnesses told Kurdistan 24.
Following this, relatives and friends of the victims armed themselves and followed the kidnappers, sources said. Shortly after, the suspected ISIS fighters released the abductees but ambushed the rescuers on a highway.
Five villagers were killed, two of whom were Kurds, according to medics.
Territories disputed between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the federal government of Iraq remain a hotbed for ISIS militants even after the group’s ousting from most of the areas it controlled in 2017.
Remnants of the group continue to launch attacks on local and federal security forces.
The Peshmerga and their Iraqi counterparts have recently begun to jointly monitor ISIS activity in the disputed territories following the establishment of joint coordination centers in some of them.