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Catholic World News

Fighting thwarts release of captives held by Islamic State in Syria

March 09, 2015

The Islamic State planned to release 52 Christian and Kurdish families who were being held hostage in Syria, the AsiaNews service reports. But the release was halted when the Islamic militants were attacked by Kurdish troops.

Archbishop Mario Zenari, the apostolic nuncio in Syria, told AsiaNews that the hostages were being released without any ransom payment, and were actually being loaded onto buses when the attack occurred. At that point, he said, that the Islamic State fighters “took the Christians for use as human shields.”

The future of those 52 families is now uncertain. Earlier this month the Islamic State had released 19 Christians, after receiving ransom for then. About 250 hostages were taken when the Islamic State seized several villages. Most remain in captivity.

 


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