Islamic State holds 200 Ramadi families hostage, official says

Islamic State militants are holding around 200 families hostage in Ramadi, an Iraqi official said on Thursday, three days after the western city was mostly retaken from the terrorist group.

Head of the Anbar province’s local council, Sabah Karhut, said that the jihadists were holding the families in the eastern part of Ramadi to stop US-led coalition warplanes and Iraqi ground forces from hunting Islamic State remnants in the city.

“We are worried about lives of civilians being held by the terrorist organization, which yesterday [Wednesday] executed around 40 civilians in eastern Ramadi,” he added without giving details.

On Monday, the Iraqi army announced Ramadi, the capital of Anbar, “liberated”, seven months after it fell to Islamic State.

However, officials in the US-led coalition have estimated that around 700 Islamic State insurgents were still hiding inside Ramadi.  

Islamic State remains in control of much of Sunni Arab northern and western Iraq, including Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.

Last update: Sat, 02/01/2016 - 08:07

More from World

Britain's May will be first foreign leader to meet President Trump

British Prime Minister Theresa May will be the first foreign leader to visit new US President Donald Trump, the...

Ex-leader Jammeh leaves Gambia paving way for president's return

Gambians celebrated in the streets Saturday as ruler Yahya Jammeh left the country after 22 years in power,...

Trump's hiring of son-in-law doesn't violate nepotism laws

US President Donald Trump may hire his son-in-law Jared Kushner to be one of his most influential White House...

Trump vows support for intel community after Russia hacking spat

President Donald Trump vowed support for the US intelligence community in a visit to the Central Intelligence Agency...

Netanyahu wants to discuss Iranian threat with Trump

Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu wants to coordinate future Iran policy with US President Donald Trump, he wrote...