Islamic State frees 19 Kidnapped Christians

Not less than 19 members of an Assyrian Christian community kidnapped by Islamic State, IS, in north-eastern Syria have been released.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said an Assyrian commander informed about their release.

The Assyrian Human Rights Network said the captives gained their freedom after a Sharia court ordered them to pay an unspecified amount of money levied as a tax on non-Muslims.

Assyrian leaders and Sunni tribal sheikhs are trying to negotiate with IS to secure the release of the remaining captives, activists said.

It would be recalled that the kidnappings took place February 23, when IS militants swept into about 12 villages.

Close to 220 men, women and children from the villages, located on the southern bank of the Khabur river, near the town of Tal Tamr, were taken captive.

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