At least 18 Turkish nationals have been kidnapped by masked gunmen in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
Iraq’s Interior Ministry said on Wednesday that the Turkish people were seized in Baghdad’s northeastern district of Sadr City early on Wednesday.
The kidnapped individuals, who were reportedly employed by a Turkish building company, were taken away at the construction site of a sports complex.
The spokesperson for Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tanju Bilgiç, confirmed the incident, saying that the kidnapped people are 14 workers, 3 engineers and one accountant.
The identity and motive of the kidnappers are not known and no group has claimed responsibility for the incident yet.
Last June, Daesh Takfiri militants kidnapped 32 Turkish drivers in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul. The truck drivers were released a month later.
The ISIL militants also stormed the Turkish consulate in Mosul in June 2014, kidnapping 49 people, including the consul, staff members, special operations teams and three children. The Takfiri group released the captives three months later in September following a prisoner swap and “some sort of a trade deal” with the government in Ankara.
Turkey is known as a major supporter of Daesh terror group. The group that has swathes of land in its control in Iraq and Syria has been committing heinous crimes against all communities including beheading and crucifixion of people.