Syria: Isis ‘frees all Assyrian Christian hostages’

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Gianluca Mezzofiore
By Gianluca Mezzofiore
Assyrian childrenIraqi Assyrian children parade as they celebrate their New Year in the northern city of Dohuk, 3 April, 2007.(AFP/Getty)
All the Assyrian Christian hostages abducted by the Islamic State (Isis) in north-eastern Syria have been liberated by the jihadist group, according to local reports.

An Assyrian military commander told the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) that IS released all the captives from the religious minority after Friday’s prayer. The commander said the detainees are still in areas under IS control in Hasakah province.

The report could not be independently verified by IBTimes UK.

During a three-day offensive, IS took 10 villages inhabited by the ancient Christian minority and abducted dozens of people, including women and children, taking them to al-Shadadi. At least 1,000 Assyrian families escaped the IS attack and fled to Qamishli and Hasakah.

The number of captives increased to more than 250 in a few days.

Last week, the jihadists freed 19 Assyrian Christians from the same village of Tal Goran

The prisoners were freed after they paid a tax for non-Muslims imposed by a local Sharia court, according to Edward. Assyrian leaders were negotiating the release of the remaining captives under the leadership of the Hassakeh bishop, who is engineering the talks.