DAMASCUS, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Syria's President Bashar al-Assad met Thursday with 34 people who had been kidnapped in a former rebel-held neighborhood north of the capital but were released on Thursday, according to state news agency SANA reported.
The kidnapped people were released in Barzeh neighborhood north of the capital, after the evacuation of the last rebel-batch from that area, said SANA.
Following their release Thursday, Assad and his wife, first lady Asma, met with the abductees.
"The Syrian society suffers a real social crisis as a result of the case of the kidnapped people," Assad said during the meeting.
He stressed that the war is not over as there are thousands of Syrians experiencing the same fate of abduction.
"Our joy will not be completed until the release of all of the kidnapped people and the return of security to the country," he said.