2nd hostage in IS captivity dies in Syria's Sweida province

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-09 21:15:35|Editor: xuxin
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DAMASCUS, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- A second hostage held by the Islamic State (IS) group died on Thursday in the countryside of the southern province of Sweida, a local source told Xinhua.

Zahiah Fawaz, a woman who is among over 30 hostages, died as result of "tough medical condition," one of the religious men, who are supervising the negotiations for the release of the hostages in IS captivity, told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Over 30 people were taken hostage by IS during their offensive on the countryside of Sweida late last month. The sudden attack, which included suicide bombings inside the city of Sweida, left over 255 people killed.

Activists have said that negotiations for the release of the hostages were still ongoing, but stalled. IS militants executed the first hostage, who was a 19-year-old man, last Thursday.

The source said that IS released a photo of the deceased woman, claiming she had died due to a medical condition.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the death of the woman, saying the reasons were unknown.

However, the family and relatives of the woman accused the IS militants of liquidating her after two IS militants were caught and executed by pro-government fighters in Sweida.

Negotiations between the government forces and IS have derailed as the militant group wanted the Syrian forces to grant a safe passage for dozens of IS fighters to evacuate to the Syrian desert in exchange for the release of the hostages.

The Syrian army unleashed a wide-scale offensive last Sunday against IS in the pockets held by the group in the desert region in the eastern countryside of Sweida.

Sweida, located around 100 km south of Damascus, has remained largely peaceful during the course of the prolonged Syrian war as it is inhabited by the Druze minority, which supports President Bashar al-Assad's government.