Islamic State releases 25 kidnapped children

2014-10-29 22:47
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Beirut - Islamic State insurgents freed 25 Kurdish school children on Wednesday, the last of more than 150 children kidnapped in May to be released, a Kurdish official and a rights group said.

The hardline Sunni Muslim group, which has fought Kurdish militia in Syria and Iraq, abducted the children aged 13 and 14 from the Syrian town of Kobani as they returned from taking exams in the city of Aleppo, rights groups said.

"It is true. They were released from [the Syrian town of] Minbij today. This is the last part of the releases," Idris Nassan, deputy foreign minister of Kobani district, told Reuters by telephone.

He said he did not know why the children had been released but suggested it could be part of a campaign of "propaganda".

New York-based Human Rights Watch said in July that 15 children were released in June as a hostage swap to free three Islamic State members held by Kurdish forces.

Two boys who escaped captivity told local media that Islamic State was forcing the children to undergo lessons in jihadist ideology, according to Human Rights Watch.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the civil war in Syria, also said the children were released. It said five others were allowed to leave over the past few days before the final 25 were freed.

Read more on:    isis  |  syria

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