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IS Releases 93 Kurds, to Cut Off Right Hand of 6 Others for Theft

By    |   Wednesday, 05 Nov 2014 10:30 AM

Although Islamic State has frequently killed hostages in Syria and Iraq, IS militants have released 93 Kurds taken prisoner in February while traveling from Syria to Iraq.

According to Reuters, the Islamic State seized around 100 people, accusing them of being members of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party which has opposed the group, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The offshoot of al Qaeda, which is the target of U.S.-led air strikes in Syria and Iraq, released all but six of the Kurds in that group in Syria on Monday, the observatory said.

It was not immediately clear why they were released.

The militants have killed local residents, journalists, aid workers and rival fighters, but have occasionally released people.

In September, Islamic State released 46 Turkish hostages held in northern Iraq after more than three months in captivity. Turkey has denied paying a ransom.

The remaining captives were accused of theft and Islamic State said it would cut off their right hand as a punishment, added the observatory, which gathers its information from a network of sources.

The Kurds were seized as they crossed from areas around the Syrian town of Kobani on the Turkish border on a road towards Iraqi Kurdistan. Islamic State has also fought with Kurds in Iraq.

Ten of thousands of Syrian Kurds took the route east towards Iraq in 2013 and earlier this year to flee Islamic State's advance in Syria.

In recent weeks, Islamic State has intensified its assault on Kobani and surrounding areas and residents have said it killed civilians. Tens of thousands of Kurds have also fled to Turkey from northern Syria.

Around 53 of the Kurds released on Monday in the Islamic State-held town of Manbij made their way into Turkey. The location of the 40 others was unknown but they are believed to still be in Syria, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Observatory.

The militants were still holding around 70 more Kurds who were taken captive at a different time.

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Although Islamic State has frequently killed hostages in Syria and Iraq, IS militants have released 93 Kurds taken prisoner in February while traveling from Syria to Iraq.
is, releases, 93, kurds
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2014-30-05
Wednesday, 05 Nov 2014 10:30 AM
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