On Sunday, October 29, an unidentified gang released three Lebanese nationals who had previously been abducted in Baghdad on October 22. According to the Lebanese Ministry of the Interior, the hostages were released following a joint Lebanese-Iraqi rescue operation in which one kidnapper was killed and several others arrested.
According to local sources, the three Lebanese businessmen were kidnapped upon their arrival in Baghdad by a gang posing as a group of Iraqi investors.
Cases of abductions are not rare in Baghdad. On May 8, seven students and activists were abducted by hooded gunmen in Baghdad.
The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Islamic State (IS) still enjoys freedom of action throughout much of northern and western Iraq and criminal gangs, who often kidnap victims, operate throughout the country. Tribal militias, not answering to the central security apparatus, also exercise effective control over their own territories. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.