9 civilians kidnapped, 3 injured by a fake checkpoint of ISIS

Brigade Two of the Peshmerga (Kurdish fighters) of the KRG. Ministry of Peshmerga

By Mohammed Almass

Nine locals were abducted and three were injured by a fake checkpoint for the extremist militants of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS northeast of Ninawa, near Erbil, security officials told KirkNow.

In the early hours of August 7th, militants installed a security checkpoint near the village of Kandal of Makhmour district and managed to abduct 9 locals, four of them were freed by the security forces.

"A passing vehicle declined to stop and the militants opened gunfire, three of them were seriously injured," the anonymous source said.

A Kurdish Peshmerga officer of Ministry of Peshmerga of the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG told KirkukNow the Peshmerga and Iraqi army successfully rescued four of the abducted "following clashes with Daesh yet the other five are missing."

The incident took place on territories controlled by the KRG. Three of the locals abducted by Daesh are Arabs and two of them are Kurds, he added.

Few days ago, IS militants bombed a tower for power transmission.

IS militants are regrouping in the rural areas of the disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil. They are targeting Iraqi forces and civilians in the suburbs of Diyla, Kirkuk Ninawa and Erbil, leaving tens of casualties and causing material damage to power plants, oil wells, houses, cattle, orchards and vehicles of the villagers.

The disputed territories extend from Khanaqin in the east on the border with Iran to the oil rich city of Kirkuk heading to the west of Mosul in Shingal, home to Ezidi ethno-religious minority, on the border with Syria.

The Iraqi ministry of electricity said in a statement on August 5th that 13 towers for transmission of power were damaged by the militants in two days in the provinces of Ninawa, Kirkuk and Salahaddin, causing total shutdown in some areas and power outage in others.

"One of the militants stopped my son and asked him what is his job so when realized he is Daesh not security member," said Mam Ali Biri, father of one of the injured receiving medical treatment in a hospital in Erbil.

"He managed to escape but he faced another ambush of Daesh whom shot him with three bullets and now he is lying in the hospital," he added.

At the early hours of July 31st, militants attacked Unit Five of Iraqi army deployed adjacent to Halwan Bridge, in the middle of Khanaqin-Jalawla highway in Diyala. Four Iraqi soldiers were killed and the main tower of power transmission in the region was damaged.

Makhmour district located about 60 kilometers southwest of Erbil yet under control of Iraqi federal government, consists of three sub-districts and 40 villages yet only four villages are still inhabited, figures from local administrations show.

Since the fall of the Ba’th regime led by Saddam Hussein in 2003 until October 2017, Makhmour, part of the disputed areas, was under the control of the KRG. In 2017, Iraqi security forces took over disputed territories following the claimed defeat of ISIS.

Most of Makhmour villages are located in areas between the KRG and the federal government, a security gap where ISIL fighters are regrouping.

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