ISIS militants have abducted around 200 Syrian factory workers and have moved to an unknown location, according to Syrian reports. The 200 some people were reported missing after a suspected attack by IS extremists on a cement factory near Dumeir, a town just outside the state capital.
The workers, who were taken reportedly taken from a dormitory on the outskirts of Dumeir on Monday, were employed at the Badiyah factory, which is located about 25 miles (40km) east of the capital.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights have said that at least 140 of the factory workers were able to escape during the attack. Meanwhile, no contact has been made with the abducted workers, a factory administrator has said.
— RT (@RT_com) 8 April 2016
At the present time, the total amount of missing factory workers has been up for debate. According to Syrian state television, which quoted an unnamed industry ministry source, IS militants kidnapped 300 of the factory’s workers and contractors. However, Ramdi Abdulrahman, head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told CNN he believes 150 to 250 factory employees are missing.
In addition, there has also been some confusion over the identity of the attackers, with some sources suggesting it was a rebel group called Jaysh Tahrir al-Sham.
Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, who is currently based in Beirut in neighbouring Lebanon, has reported that “rebels belonging to a rival group managed to secure the release of most of those kidnapped.”
“Sources said ISIL initially killed or beheaded 10 of those who were taken, accusing them of espionage, and that less than 100 of them remained in captivity. The conflicting reports show the lack of clarity on the ground,” Elshayyal said.
A local resident told AFP news agency: “We haven’t been able to reach our family members since noon on Monday after an attack by Daesh [IS] on the factory.
“We have no information about where they are,” the resident added.
According to reports, efforts to secure the workers’ release are underway; however, further details have yet to be disclosed.
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