Islamic State releases 19 Assyrian hostages

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Several released hostages standing in the Assyrian Church of Hasakah, Sunday, March 1, 2014. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Hasakah, Syria – The Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) released Sunday 19 Assyrian hostages, who were abducted last week during IS-led attacks on several Assyrian villages in the vicinity of the town of Tel Temir in Hassakah province, in northeastern Syria, local sources reported. 

The released hostages arrived to the Assyrian Church in the city of Hasakah on Sunday evening.

More than 200 Assyrian hostages are still held by IS militants, according to the Assyrian Network for Human Rights. 

Speaking to ARA News, Bishop St. Ephraim Otnaúal, pastor of the Eastern Church in Syria, said that an Assyrian delegation was in contact with a group of mediators who were in direct negotiations with the Islamic State in the last few days. 

“The number of the released people reached 19 and all of them are from the village of Tel Goran,” the bishop said. 

“The released civilians are in a good health condition and we didn’t notice any impacts of torture on their bodies,” a sister of a released man told ARA News.

The there were 21 abductees from the village of Tel Goran. We are praying for the remaining two hostages to be freed alongside dozens others whose destiny is unknown,” she said.

The released men refused to speak to the press. 

 

Reporting by: Zozan Shekho

Source: ARA News

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