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Last group of Syrian Christians abducted in 2015 freed Open in fullscreen

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Last group of Syrian Christians abducted in 2015 freed

The Islamic State extremist group has repeatedly targeted religious minorities and ransacked churches [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 February, 2016

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At least 43 remaining Christian captives, taken hostage last February by the Islamic State group, have been released and are on their way to the Syrian town of Tal Tamr.

The Islamic State group has released the last group of Assyrian Christians taken hostage last year.

Younan Talia of the Assyrian Democratic Organisation said on Monday that about 40 remaining Christian captives were released and are on their way to the northeastern town of Tal Tamr.

The freed Christians were part of about 230 Assyrian Christians captured last February by the extremists after they overran Assyrian communities on the southern bank of the Khabur River in northeastern Hassakeh province.

Younan says the release came after mediation led by a top Assyrian priest in northern Syria.

The Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organisation says that 43 Assyrians, who make the "final number of hostages in Khabur," were released on Monday.

The Islamic State group has repeatedly targeted religious and ethnic minorities in Syria and Iraq since seizing control of large swathes of both countries. 

The extremists have ransacked churches, demolished Shia and Sunni Muslim shrines, and enslaved women of the Yazidi community, a tiny sect considered heretical by the group. 

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