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IS militants abduct three civilians west of Haditha City

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At approximately 13:00 on 14 February, IS militants driving a pickup truck abducted three civilians while collecting truffles in the vicinity of Madham Village, located west of Haditha City. An unnamed security source added that security units immediately initiated a search operation, with no significant effects initially reported. This abduction swiftly follows another incident reported in a similar area. On 28 January, IS militants executed three individuals and kidnapped one other in the area of Wadi Al-Wazia, located west Haditha City. The individuals were collecting truffles at the time of the incident. Given the location, it is somewhat possible that the same IS cell was responsible for both attacks.

It is unclear whether the three individuals in this latest incident were abducted in accordance with threat finance purposes or were immediately executed. Although these events pose little impact on client operations due to current targeting patterns, this incident occurring during daylight hours promotes the importance of threat awareness and the boldness of the responsible IS cell. Extensive security operations are likely to continue in the area mentioned above, though significant long-term effects are unlikely given the resiliency of IS and the multiple staging areas that exist in isolated desert areas of western Anbar Province.

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