Protests in Syria over Islamic State's execution of woman hostage

DAMASCUS (dpa)- Hundreds of people took to the streets in south-western Syria to protest the Islamic State's execution of a woman who was part of a group of hostages the extremists had seized more than two months ago, residents and a war monitor said.
Thuraya abu Ammar, 25, was among some 30 Muslim Druz kidnapped by the radical Sunni group in July from Syria's south-western province of Sweida.

Yazan al-Shoufi, a member of a local council in Sweida, told dpa that the protesters blocked main roads and called on the Syrian government and its Russian allies to secure the safe release of the rest of hostages.
Rami Abdul-Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, meanwhile, said Abu Ammar was executed by Islamic State and her picture was later sent to relatives.
On July 25, the Islamic State launched a string of suicide bombings, shootings and stabbings in Sweida that killed more than 252 people, most of them were civilians from the minority Druze community.
In August, the hardline group killed a 19-year-old man, who was among the hostages.
The Islamic State has demanded the Syrian government stop its attacks on the extremist group in the Sweida desert and swap the Druze hostages for female hardliners held by Damascus.
The Druze are an offshoot of Shiite Islam and have been fighting alongside forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebels in the country's seven-year civil war.
In recent months, Islamic State has suffered military setbacks and lost territory in Syria.

Saturday, October 6th 2018

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