300 Cement Factory Workers Kidnapped in Syria

ISIL fighters reportedly moved the abducted workers to an unknown location ISIL fighters reportedly moved the abducted workers to an unknown location © Rodi Said/Reuters

7 April 2016
More than 300 workers were kidnapped after an attack by the Islamic State in Syria on a cement factory 50km east of Damascus.

On Thursday, April 7, more than 300 cement factory workers from the Al Badia Cement company were taken by Islamic State (IS) fighters in the town of Dumayr, 50 km east of the Syrian capital. The abduction took place after an attack against government forces in the area earlier that week. However, there have been conflicting reports on the exact number of workers kidnapped, released, and feared to have been executed by IS.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said that 140 workers had fled before IS fighters arrived and abducted 300 workers and contractors. There were reports from neighbouring Lebanon of rebels from a rival group securing the release of most of the kidnapped.

“Sources said ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or also known as ISIS) initially killed or beheaded 10 of those who were taken, accusing them of espionage, and that fewer than 100 of them remained in captivity. The conflicting reports show the lack of clarity on the ground,” said Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal. According to local official Nadeem Krizan, residents of the nearby area of Giraud saw ISIL vehicles carrying around 125 workers and heading to the town of Tel Dkoh.

Some reports reveal that the 170 workers were released, while 175 others feared to be executed. More recent reports state that the Islamic State have now released nearly all the kidnapped workers, except for four men from the Druze minority who had already been executed.

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