Daesh takes 50 hostages in Hama province, Syria, including minority Ismailis
Ten of those taken, including six women, are Ismailis, a minority sect that is an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam. The remaining 40 are Sunni Muslims, including at least 15 women. (Images: AFP/File)
Click here to add Abdel Rahman as an alert
Disable alert for Abdel Rahman,
Click here to add Bashar al-Assad as an alert
Disable alert for Bashar al-Assad,
Click here to add ISIS as an alert
Disable alert for ISIS,
Click here to add Jihadist as an alert
Disable alert for Jihadist,
Click here to add Mabujeh as an alert
Disable alert for Mabujeh,
Click here to add Rami Abdel Rahman as an alert
Disable alert for Rami Abdel Rahman
Jihadist fighters from the Islamic State (ISIS, also known as Daesh) group are holding hostage at least 50 civilians, almost half of them women, seized in a raid on a village in central Syria, a monitor said.
They were kidnapped from the village of Mabujeh in Hama province on March 31, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights according to AFP.
News of the kidnappings had been kept quiet because of ongoing negotiations for their release, but the talks have since faltered, said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.
Ten of those taken, including six women, are Ismailis, a minority sect that is an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam. The remaining 40 are Sunni Muslims, including at least 15 women.
"There are fears that the women are being taken as slaves," Abdel Rahman told AFP.
He said the Ismailis were kidnapped because ISIS considers them "infidels," and that the Sunnis - although from the same sect as ISIS fighters - were taken because ISIS viewed them as "loyal to the Ismailis."
Mabujeh, east of the provincial capital Hama, has a population of Sunnis, Ismailis and Alawites, another offshoot of Shi'ite Islam that is the sect of President Bashar al-Assad and his clan.
On March 31, ISIS executed at least 37 civilians in Mabujeh, including two children, by "burning, beheading, and firing on them," the Observatory said.
ISIS has regularly targeted minority sects in Syria, especially Shi'ites it accuses of apostasy, as well as Sunnis who it alleges have violated its interpretation of Islam.
It has also carried out mass kidnappings of Kurds and Assyrian Christians in Syria, and members of the Yazidi faith in neighboring Iraq.