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Sunni militants kidnap dozens of men in Iraq

BAGHDAD – Militants affiliated with the extremist Islamic State group abducted dozens of men from a Sunni village north of Baghdad on Thursday, residents said, as two separate car bombings killed 23 people in the capital.

The militants took some 50 men from Tal Ali village, around 240 kilometers (170 miles) north of Baghdad, according to residents. The men were loaded onto trucks and driven away, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution.

The militants had retreated from the village the day before, fearing an attack by the Iraqi army. When they left, residents set fire to an Islamic State flag.

The Islamic State group spearheaded an offensive in June, seizing vast swaths of northern Iraq, including the country’s second largest city Mosul. The group has published grisly photos of the mass killing of captives in areas under its control in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

In Baghdad, police officials said a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a police checkpoint in the Shiite neighborhood of Kazimiyah, killing 14 people, including five policemen. About 26 people were wounded and several cars were burnt in the attack.

Two hours later, a car bomb explosion in central Baghdad killed nine people and wounded 21 others, said police.

Medical officials confirmed the casualties from both attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

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