In a stunning assault that exposed Iraq’s eroding central authority, al-Qaida-inspired militants have seized many cities. The rampage by the black banner-waving insurgents was a heavy defeat for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as he tries to hold onto power, and highlighted the growing strength of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The group has been advancing in both Iraq and neighboring Syria, capturing territory in a campaign to set up a militant enclave straddling the border. The group was once al-Qaida’s branch in Iraq, but under its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi it has escalated its ambitions, sending fighters into Syria to join the rebellion against President Bashar Assad. Its jihadists became notorious as some of the most ruthless fighters in the rebellion – and other rebels turned against it, accusing it of trying to hijack the movement. Al-Qaida’s central command, angered over its intervention in Syria, threw the group out of the terrorist network.
Several Indians had got trapped in the conflict areas in northern and central Iraq.
A native of Punjab, Singh had left for Iraq three years ago and was working with a German company.
The nurses said it was not safe to move along with the ISIS men to Mosul as there was the risk of attacks by the Iraqi military in transit.