Daesh frees 270 Deir Ezzor abductees

Published January 20th, 2016 - 10:36 GMT

A monitoring group says Daesh has released 270 of more than 400 civilians it had abducted during an assault on the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zor.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the abductees were released on Tuesday, adding that they included women, children under 14 years of age, and elderly individuals.

All of the abductees, who had been kidnapped from the city’s al-Baghaliyeh neighborhood last Saturday, are Sunni Muslims, including the families of pro-government forces.

The monitor said the releases took place after the group ascertained that the 270 did not have ties with the Syrian government.

“They will not go back into Deir al-Zor city, but will be spread out among local tribes in the province,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the SOHR.

After the mass kidnapping, Daesh militants kept up their attacks on the city, killing some 300 civilians.

Deir al-Zor, where 70 percent of the residents are women and children, has been effectively under siege by the militant group since early 2015.

“People are afraid, the situation is very difficult,” Attiyeh, a local resident, told AFP, adding, “Food and vegetables are rare, and we’re starting to have problems with bread.”

Over 260,000 people have reportedly been killed in Syria in a five-year-old civil war.

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