DAMASCUS, April 7 (Xinhua) -- The Islamic State (IS) on Wednesday released 46 people out of 59 captured the day before in the Syrian desert region, a war monitor reported.
The IS militants released 46 and kept 13 people in captivity after capturing them in the desert region in the eastern countryside of Hama province in central Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The 13 people include police officers, the UK-based watchdog group added.
It noted that a police officer was shot dead and many more are believed to be killed during the IS attack, which is the largest kidnapping operation of the group in the desert region.
After losing key areas across Syria, the IS militants now have a strong presence in the sprawling desert region in eastern Syria.
The militants frequently carry out attacks and ambushes against the Syrian government forces in the desert region, prompting Syrian and Russian warplanes to strike their positions.
Since March 2019, a total of 1,381 Syrian soldiers and pro-government fighters have been killed by IS attacks, while 896 IS militants have been killed during the same period. Enditem