Iraqi soldier killed, civilian kidnapped in suspected ISIS attack in disputed Kirkuk
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – At least one Iraqi soldier was killed early Thursday in what appeared to be an ISIS attack west of the disputed Kirkuk province. The suspected terrorists also kidnapped a villager, a local source added.
The 30-man terrorist cell targeted the Shahali Kon village in the Sargaran sub-district, Kirkuk province, the source explained to Kurdistan 24, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Locals alongside a nearby Iraqi army force repelled the attack as the ISIS assailants surrounded the Kurdish-majority village, leaving a soldier killed and six civilians wounded, the source added.
A civilian named Nayef Mohammad Hassan, a Kurd, was kidnapped and his whereabouts remain unclear, they noted. ISIS cells routinely kidnap civilians from rural areas and hold them for ransom.
Local villagers told Kurdistan 24 that members of the terrorist group had in the past demanded $5,000 in levies, with the community still suffering economically due to a drought.
“They identify themselves to us as ISIS,” a villager speaking on condition of anonymity told Kurdistan 24.
Following its territorial defeat in 2017 at the hands of the Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the remnants of the Islamic State regularly launch attacks in the disputed territories due to what Kurdish officials describe as a “security vacuum.”
Additional reporting by Soran Kamaran