Masked men in military uniforms abducted 18 Turkish nationals in Baghdad early Wednesday, Iraqi and Turkish officials said. No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
The abducted people were workers and engineers at Nurol Insaat, a Turkish construction company contracted to build a sports complex in the Sadr City of north Baghdad. They were sleeping in caravans when the kidnappers put them in SUVs, the Associated Press (AP) reported, citing security officials. An Iraqi national was kidnapped along with the Turkish workers, Iraqi officials said, according to the report.
The Turkish foreign ministry confirmed the incident and said it was in contact with Iraqi officials, the AP reported. The ministry added that it cannot reveal the identity of the kidnapped people due to security reasons.
Turkey recently started airstrikes against the Islamic State group in northern Iraq. In August, it was reported that at least 260 members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party have been killed during Turkey’s campaign against the militant group within the country and in northern Iraq.
Last June, 39 Indian construction workers were kidnapped by ISIS in the troubled northern Iraqi city of Mosul. India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said this February, without elaborating, that all the captives were “alive.”
In July, the ISIS kidnapped over 180 children from different areas in Mosul to train them with weapons and to eventually recruit them to fight for the extremist group. The children were reportedly aged between 10 and 15.