According to a local official, 56 armed Shiite factions in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad, sow terror among the Sunni population yesterday, he told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Member of Diyala Provincial Council, Ali al-Daini, said that overlooking the daily crimes committed in the cities of the province, in addition to what has happened lately in Muqdadiyah where ten mosques were bombed, lead the representatives of the Sunni components in Diyala to seek to globally shed the lights on the suffering in order to end the extermination campaigns perpetrated by these armed militias, who, according to al-Daini, belong to a “third-party” against the Sunnis in Diyala.
Al-Daini added that these militias belong to influential political parties providing them with legal coverage in order for them to carry out their criminal acts freely. They do not comply with any orders given by Diyala security authorities, have no deterrent, and they have become very difficult to control. Those armed factions have not only penetrated the army, police, and the province, but also have given themselves the right to name the security leaders in Diyala according to how they see it fits.
On the other hand, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior announced yesterday that the concerned bodies have started gathering evidences on the three Americans and their interpreter, who were kidnapped in Baghdad by an armed group wearing military uniform and driving a Sport Utility Vehicle.
An official source confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the victims were kidnapped from an apartment in Baghdad’s southeastern Dora neighborhood.
The kidnapping of the Americans came at a time when the fate of more than 20 Qataris remains unknown, after being kidnapped by an armed group for more than a month now, in the desert western Iraq.
Prior to that incident, gunmen kidnapped Turkish workers and held them hostages for more than a week before releasing them.