Red Cross workers kidnapped in Syria

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Video Discription: Originally published on October 14, 2013

Seven workers belonging to the Red Cross and a local volunteer of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent were kidnapped at gunpoint in northwest Syria on Sunday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.

The ICRC said it had had no contact with the gunmen but appealed for the immediate release of the workers.

According to Reuters an ICRC spokesman said "'I am able to confirm that six ICRC staff members and one Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteer have been abducted near Idlib in northwestern Syria.'

"Syrian state media reported the incident earlier in the day, saying the gunmen had kidnapped the Red Cross workers after opening fire on their vehicles on Sunday.

"Quoting an unnamed official, state news agency SANA said the workers were travelling in the Idlib area when gunmen blocked their path, shot at their convoy, seized them and took them to an unknown location.

"'An armed terrorist group today kidnapped a number of workers in the mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Syria,' the report said, using a term the government frequently uses for rebels trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

"Watson was not able to confirm that shots had been fired, but said the team's vehicles were also missing. The team had been on their way back to Damascus after delivering medical supplies in Sarmin and Idlib, he said.

Kidnappings are becoming increasingly common in northern Syria as rebels have captured large areas of territory.

The 30 month-long conflict in Syria has claimed more than 100,000 lives so far and has driven more than 2 million people out of the country.


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