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Reports: Islamic State kidnaps dozens in Syria, dead found


BEIRUT — Members of the Islamic State group abducted dozens of people in a central province and the bodies of some were found with their throats slit, an opposition war monitor and pro-government media reported on Friday.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said extremists abducted around 40 people on Thursday and killed at least 15 people whose bodies were discovered on Friday in the central province of Hama. The Observatory said the dead included seven civilians and eight armed tribesmen.

Pro-government radio station Sham FM said the extremists attacked farmers picking truffles in the eastern countryside of Hama province. He added that some of the abductees “were martyred” while contact was lost with others.

Despite their defeat in Syria in March 2019, the militant group’s sleeper cells continue to carry out deadly attacks in Syria and Iraq where they once declared a “caliphate”.

Last month, IS sleeper cells attacked workers picking truffles near the central town of Sukhna, killing at least 53 people, mostly workers but also members of the Syrian government security forces.

Truffles are a seasonal delicacy that can fetch a high price. Since truffle hunters work in large groups in remote areas, IS militants have repeatedly attacked them in previous years, coming out of the desert to abduct them, killing some and ransoming others. against money.

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