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Russian military announce release of 19 hostages held by IS in Syria

Syria: Russia's defence ministry distributed video on Friday showing people celebrating the release of 19 women and children who had been held hostage for almost four months by Islamic State in Syria.

19 hostages held by IS in Syria released

Lt. Gen. Vladimir Savchenko, head of the Russian military's reconciliation centre in Syria, described the release - which took place Thursday - as a memorable event.

He said the operation had been guided by Russian military advisors working with Syrian specialists, and praised what he called the painstaking work of Russian troops.

During the operation to free the captives, two children who were being held were shot dead by Islamic State militants, a father and activists said.

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The hostages were among 30 people kidnapped by Islamic State in the southern province of Sweida, after an IS raid that left more than 200 people dead.

The province, populated mainly by Druze, had previously been spared most of the horrors of Syria's civil war.



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