ISIS : Dozens of Assyrian Christians reported abducted by ISIS in Northern Syria (Feb 24, 2015)

BEIRUT (AP) — The Islamic State militants struck before dawn, staging house-to-house raids in a cluster of villages nestled along the Khabur River in northeastern Syria. They abducted at least 70 Christians — many of them women and children — while thousands of others fled to safer areas.

The captives’ fate was unclear Tuesday, a day after they were seized, and relatives said mobile phone service was cut off and land lines also were not going through, adding to the fear and uncertainty about their loved ones. Heavy fighting was reported in the area.

The Islamic State group has a history of killing captives, including foreign journalists, Syrian soldiers and Kurdish militiamen. Most recently, militants in Libya affiliated with the extremist group released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians.

The group’s bloody campaign in Syria and Iraq, where it seeks to form a self-styled caliphate, has repeatedly targeted religious minorities since it took control of a third of both countries. The United States and coalition of regional partners are conducting a campaign of airstrikes against the group.

The militants struck near the town of Tal Tamr in Hassakeh province, an area predominated by Assyrian Christians. Most of the captives came from Tal Shamiram and some from Tal Hurmiz.

Nuri Kino, the head of a group called A Demand For Action, said between 70 and 100 Assyrians were taken captive. About 3,000 people fled and have sought refuge in the cities of Hassakeh and Qamishli, he said, adding that his activist group based its information on conversations with villagers who fled the attack and their relatives. His group focuses on religious minorities in the Middle East.

„Have they been slaughtered? Are they still alive? We’re searching for any news,” said an Assyrian Christian woman from Tal Shamiram who now lives in Beirut. The woman said she has been trying to find out what has become of her parents, her brother and his wife and their children, but couldn’t reach anyone in the village.

Read more here – http://www.theindependent.com

SYRIA – Dozens of Assyrian Christians

kidnapped by Islamic State

VIDEO by FRANCE 24 English

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