( AFP ) - Gunmen kidnapped 42 students from buses taking them to university in Iraq's northern city of Mosul on Sunday, a local Iraqi army commander told AFP.
Unidentified gunmen kidnapped 42 students of Mosul University. They were ambushed and kidnapped in an area called Jorum on a highway near Mosul," said Brigadier General Khalid Abdul Sattar, spokesman for the city's security plan.
Sattar said the gunmen ambushed two buses, which were ferrying students to Mosul from their homes in Shurkat, 70 kilometres ( 40 miles) south of Iraq's main northern city.
"One of the two buses managed to escape although the gunmen fired at it and wounded three students. The kidnappers later fled after taking control of the other bus carrying 42 students," he told AFP.
Iraqi and US troops are engaged in a major offensive against Al Qaeda in Iraq's main northern city, which according to US military commanders is the jihadists' last urban stronghold in Iraq.