Syria declared on Wednesday the arrest of "criminals" who kidnapped and killed Sheikh Mashouq al-Khaznawi and stressed the crime "is purely criminal." Al-Khaznawi, 46, was a prominent Syrian Kurdish cleric, who had openly called for regime change in Syria. On May 10, Al-Khaznawi disappeared after leaving the Islamic Studies Centre in Damascus. On Wednesday, Kurdish sources said "traces of torture" were found on Khaznawi's body.
However, an official source at the Syrian interior ministry told SANA that "security forces arrested criminals who kidnapped and killed Sheikh Mashouq al-Khaznawi after a close follow up from all concerned parties since his disappearance, more than two weeks before."
The source noted that the first investigating magistrate in Damascus, Khaled Hammoud, who supervised the full investigation with a medical check up board formulated by the judiciary, has assumed the case from the beginning.
"A number of the hijackers who are arrested have confessed their crime and that they are part of a five men group, which hijacked Sheikh Khaznawi from Damascus after he was drugged and moved him to Aleppo, in the North, then killed and buried him in Deir al-Zour, Northeast Syria," the source said.
The source noted that the outcome of the probe confirmed that the crime is "purely criminal ," and that Sheikh Khaznawi was not detained by any security sides, as some "sources and biased media circulated".