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UNDP engineer kidnapped, killed by ISIS in Anbar

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A United Nations Development Program (UNDP) engineer was killed by ISIS on Monday after being kidnapped in Anbar province, with the terror group claiming responsibility for his death on Wednesday.


Amer Jadaan Al-Fahdawi  was allegedly a leader of a local Popular Mobilization Forces unit (PMF, or Hashd al Shaabi in Arabic) – an umbrella network of Shiite paramilitary groups – and was said to fought in the liberation of Iraqi towns from ISIS.

"Caliphate soldiers captured and killed the prominent member of an apostate Hashd [PMF] force Amer Jadaan Al-Fahdawi on the international road west of Ramadi," read a caption beneath an image of the execution posted to an ISIS telegram channel.

The engineer was kidnapped along a highway by ISIS members disguised as checkpoint officials, according to the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC).

"A fake checkpoint was set up on the highway, and a PMU commander was captured and shot (Amer Jadaan Al-Fahdawi) west of Ramadi, Anbar, Iraq -2 November 2020," read a TRAC report.
 
Fahdwai was abducted while supervising the reconstruction of a war-damaged bridge near the town of al-Rutba, west of Anbar. The reconstruction of the bridge is just one of various different development projects aimed at rebuilding and returning stability to urban areas in the region.

His abduction was reportedly the first kidnapping of the year in Anbar.

UNDP officials were not available for comment at the time of writing.

Although the group published evidence of Fahdawi's execution on its media channels, his body has not yet been found.

Iraqi and Kurdish forces and the US-led coalition continue to fight ISIS remnants across the country, despite the terror group being formally declared defeated in Iraq in December 2017.

"The heroes of Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Services (ICTS) continue to be vigilant against the threat of terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations. [Between] November 2-5, the ICTS made ten arrests in six missions across the country. [The International Coalition for Operation Inherent Resolve] is grateful to Iraqi Security forces for continuing to fight to #DefeatDaesh," coalition spokesperson Wayne Marotto  tweeted on Friday, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

"There is also mounting evidence that [ISIS] attacks are becoming more sophisticated, targeting military checkpoints and Iraqi military housing," Elizabeth Dent, a non-resident scholar at the US-based Middle East Institute wrote in a recent report.

Staff members from humanitarian organizations continue to face security threats as they seek to provide vulnerable populations with critical goods and services across Iraq, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano has said.

"Humanitarian actors too often operate in hazardous areas as they do their utmost to reach people in need. This incident is a stark reminder of the dangers they face every day," she said in a statement after a humanitarian worker was injured by an IED explosion in August.

 
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