Gunmen kidnap eight Iraqis in Diyala raid

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Gunmen kidnapped eight Iraqis from their homes on Saturday in a raid in the country’s volatile Diyala province, where al Qaeda militants continue to roam despite a crackdown by Iraqi security forces, police said.

The men were seized by the gunmen who arrived in the town of al-Gotin, north of Baghdad, in a convoy of more than a dozen vehicles, a police source said on condition of anonymity.

Diyala, an ethnically and religiously mixed province in a fertile river valley, has remained one of the most violent parts of Iraq even as attacks drop sharply across the country.

In separate incidents, two bombs exploded in different parts of the provincial capital Baquba on Saturday, killing a civilian and wounding two rubbish collectors.

Police frequently find the bodies of Iraqis kidnapped, then killed, by militants in the Diyala area.

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces launched a major security operation last month on Sunni Arab al Qaeda militants believed to be hiding out there.

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