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The women abducted from the village were being taken to the ISIS-controlled northern cities of Mosul and Tal Afar, the official said.

Should it have been written like: The women abducted from the village were taken to the ISIS-controlled northern cities of Mosul and Tal Afar, the official said.

What the difference might be in meaning or grammar?

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We would not write that the women were taken. This is reported indirect speech, and the speaker's tenses are ‘backshifted’; were taken would be employed only if the official's actual words had been

“The women are taken to &c”

That would be idiomatic English only if the official were speaking of repeated abductions over a period of time—“Every time a woman is abucted she is taken to...”—which strikes me as unlikely. What the official probably said was

“The women are being taken ...”

The progressive form signifies that the movement was not, at the time of speaking, complete: perhaps the women were still in transit, or only some had been taken north and it was intended to move the rest.

If the movement was complete at the time of speaking, a perfect construction would be used:

“The women have been taken ...” → The official said that the women had been taken ...

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"Were being taken" in this context implies that they believe the women were intended to be taken to "ISIS-controlled northern cities" but that it cannot be confirmed that they were. They are using indirect speech to protect themselves in case they are wrong because they have no hard evidence.

If the article had declared they "were taken" it would imply a certainty that they did, in fact, arrive there.

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