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Two killed children among liberated Syrian hostages held by Daesh

Local | 2018-11-09 15:09:00
Two killed children among liberated Syrian hostages held by Daesh
Daesh (ISIS) militants shot and killed two children during an operation to liberate a group of hostages from southern Syria that were being held by the extremist group since July, a father and activists said Friday.

Nashaat Abu Ammar, a resident of Swaida whose wife, two sons and daughter were among those being held by Daesh, said his 8-year-old son Raafat was among the two boys shot dead during the Syrian army raid to free the hostages. A 13-year-old boy, Qusay, was also killed.

"They shot him in his mother's lap," Abu Ammar told The Associated Press by telephone from Swaida, his voice breaking up with emotion.

State media reported Thursday evening that troops liberated the 19 women and children held by Daesh in a military operation in central Syria, triggering celebrations in Swaida. "My happiness is huge," Abu Ammar, reached by the AP, said then.

His happiness was crushed hours later when the group of hostages arrived in Swaida. Among them was the body of Raafat and his 13-year-old cousin. His wife appeared very frail, he said, adding that the group was barely being fed to stay alive.

Russian Lt. Gen. Vladimir Savchenko said the hostages were freed by the Syrian military Thursday "in an operation directed by Russian military officers." He did not give any details of the operation but claimed that no hostages were hurt.

He also said Daesh kept the hostages in brutal conditions, keeping them in pits where they could barely sit or lie down, giving them no food for days and providing no medical care.

A local media outlet reported the 17 surviving civilians returned home safely Friday.

The Daily Star, Agecnies
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