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Syrian Army frees 19 women, children abducted by ISIS – state TV

Syria’s Army has freed a group of 19 women and children who were abducted by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) during a raid on the city of Sweida and neighboring villages in July, Syrian state television said on Thursday. The jihadist group, which lost most of its territory in Syria last year, seized about 30 people when it rampaged through Sweida from a desert enclave outside the city, killing more than 200 people and detonating suicide vests, according to Reuters. The hostages were freed in an area northeast of the desert city of Palmyra after the army fought with IS militants in “a precise operation,” state TV said. It did not inform when the fighting took place. Six other hostages from the same group were reportedly freed in October. Sweida, which is under state rule, has a mainly Druze religious community.