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Kidnappings continue in Iraq’s disputed territories

Despite improved security coordination among Iraqi, Kurdish and coalition forces, Islamic State remnants still threaten residents.
Prime Minister of the Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan Masrour Barzani (L) welcomes  Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi in Arbil, the capital of the northern Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region, on September 10, 2020. (Photo by SAFIN HAMED / AFP) (Photo by SAFIN HAMED/AFP via Getty Images)

KALAR, Iraqi Kurdistan — Better collaboration between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has improved security in some areas disputed by the two sides in recent months, but much remains to be done.

Pointing at locations on a map on his phone, a security official who cannot be named as he was unauthorized to speak to the media told Al-Monitor Sept. 16, “There are the locations of the PUK [peshmerga]. [Then a bit farther away] here are suspected IS locations and here two Kurdish men were kidnapped by the Islamic State [IS]. Here they set them free after their families paid a ransom of about $40,000.”

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