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Sunday 29 January 2023 Dublin: 10°C
AP/Press Association Images
# Dmeir
300 factory workers abducted by Islamic State
However, IS has lost a supply route.

THE ISLAMIC STATE group has been accused of kidnapping more than 300 employees of a cement factory in Syria, in the latest mass abduction by the jihadists.

IS attacked the town of Dmeir, east of Damascus, after suffering a series of territorial losses at the hands of regime troops in recent weeks, including in the ancient city of Palmyra.

In another setback for the jihadists, anti-government rebels were reported to have seized their main supply route to Turkey.

Syria’s official news agency SANA said the 300 people seized by IS were employees of Al-Badia cement factory.

“The company has informed the industry ministry that it hasn’t been able to make contact with the kidnapped individuals,” SANA said.

The extremist group, which controls swathes of Syria and Iraq, has a history of mass abductions and killings.

Residents of Dmeir, around 50 kilometres from Damascus, earlier reported that at least 250 workers at the plant had been missing since Monday.

The town is divided between IS control in the east and rebel control in the west, but several key positions around it, including a military airport and a power plant, are still in government hands.

The fresh fighting came ahead of a new round of peace talks due next week in Geneva, following a ceasefire between the regime and non-jihadist rebels that has allowed Syrian forces to focus on fighting IS.

© – AFP, 2016

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