IS releases 270 out of 400 kidnapped in Syria

Damascus, Jan 20 (IANS) The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group released 270 out of the 400 people it had kidnapped when its militants stormed a town in Syria’s eastern province of Deir al-Zour earlier this week, a monitor group reported on Wednesday.

The 270 released people were kids under 14, and men over 55 years old, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It added that 130 men between the age 15 and 55 were still held by the IS militants, who will interrogate them on charges of cooperation with the Syrian government in the town of Bughailiyeh.

Aside from the originally captured 400 men, the UK-based watchdog group which relies on a network of activists on ground said the IS group captured 50 other people over the past 24 hours during raids in Bughailiyeh in the countryside of Deir al-Zour.

Upon storming Buhailiyeh last week, the IS militants had killed as many as 280 people, mostly women and children, and tossed their bodies in the Euphrates river in the countryside of Deir al-Zour, near Iraq.

The IS attack on the neighbourhood was carried out earlier on Saturday, with several suicide bombers blowing themselves up at government forces’ positions.

The attack came amid renewed battles between the IS and the Syrian military forces in several areas of Deir al-Zour, including the vicinity of the main airbase near the Iraqi borders.

Government officials condemned the massacre in the town, and pledged the government forces will soon recapture it.

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