Girls Kidnapped in Daraa Ransomed for Millions

The southern province of Daraa has witnessed a spate of kidnappings that have targeted children and demanded exorbitant ransoms for their release writes Jesr.

Three girls from the city of Jassem in the Daraa countryside were kidnapped a few days ago. A few days earlier, a child named Salam Khalaf, 10, also disappeared while coming back from school in the town of al-Tayba in eastern Daraa. A child was also kidnapped from the al-Kashef distirict in the center of Daraa city—as well as a child from Jassem, who has been missing for four months.

The Daraa 24 website said that three girls from Jassen had been kidnapped last Tuesday while heading to evening classes. Unidentified men put them in a bus and quickly sped off.

The page said that the kidnappers had contacted the family of one of the girls by phone and told them that they wanted a ransom of 70 million Syrian pounds to release the three of them. Their family paid the ransom in exchange for the kidnappers releasing them.

In the same town (Jassem), a six-year-old child named Miyar Alaa al-Hamadi was kidnapped four months ago. His family has no information about him, except that witnesses told them that unidentified people on a motorcycle kidnapped him and disappeared.

A child named Mazen Sayan al-Mahamid also disappeared in the al-Kashef district in Daraa. He is 14 years old and disappeared after leaving his house last Saturday. His family have put out a call to find him, and finally local sources said he returned home yesterday, in mysterious circumstances.

The family of the child Salam Hassan al-Khalaf, who disappeared on Tuesday, have not stopped searching for him. They have allocated a large amount of money for that—but to no avail. Daraa 24 has called on all active groups in Houran to help find the child, who disappeared when returning from school. He had been studying in the third grade.

Daraa and Suweida provinces have seen repeated kidnappings despite the deployment of checkpoints and security bases in the towns and cities where the kidnappings occur.

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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