Diyala (IraqiNew.com) Islamic State militants kidnapped two young men from a village in the north of Diyala province, a local official was quoted saying on Thursday.
Mohamed Deif, mayor of al-Udhaim (63 km north of Baqubah), told Alsumaria News that the group kidnapped the pair late Wednesday from al-Safedj village, east of the region, and took them to an unknown destination.
According to Deif, “Islamic State is still present at some pockets surrounding al-Udhaim, especially those extending along the Hamreen Mountains”.
Some local officials had previously been quoted saying that Islamic State resorted to kidnapping and ransoms in the province as means to offset drained financial resources.
Though Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the fall of Islamic State’s bastions across Iraq, which they occupied in 2014, the group seems to maintain some hideouts at desert areas around Diyala and Anbar. Abadi said recently his forces were still chasing out remnant militants at those areas.