On April 6, ISIS cells attacked two groups of civilians who were collecting truffles in the eastern countryside of Hama in central Syria.
The first group was ambushed by the terrorists in the area of al-Zuinah, 80 km to the east of the town of al-Salamiyah. According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the terrorists killed a civilian and wounded several others. Dozens were also abducted.
The second group of truffle hunters came under attack near the town of al-S’an. A man was killed by the terrorists who also abducted a number of civilians.
According to a number of sources, the total number of civilians who were abducted in both attacks is between 50 and 70. The SANA is yet to provide an official count.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the terrorist group had released 46 of the abductees. At least 13 others, including local policemen, are still in the hands of the group’s cells.
“Yesterday’s operation was by far the largest abduction operation, since the recent boost in ISIS activities in al-Badiya [Syria’s desert],” the monitoring group said in a report released on April 7.
ISIS attacked truffle hunters in eastern Hama before. On March 20, the terrorist group’s cells killed three truffle hunters and injured six others in Djebel Bilaas. Seven other civilians went missing during the attack.
The recent attacks are meant to terrorize and intimidate locals in eastern Hama. Government forces are now reportedly working to locate and free the abductees.
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