Thirty-seven Assyrian Christians have been released by the Islamic State (Isis), following negotiations carried out by the Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, reports said.
The Assyrian Monitor for Human Rights in a statement said that 37 Assyrian Christians who were among the 220 Syrians kidnapped from Khabour back in February were released on Saturday, according to Agence France-Presse.
"Most of the Assyrians released are of old age. They have arrived to Tal Tamer on a bus and were welcomed by the priest of the Saints Church in Tal Tamer in Hasaka province," the Assyrian Human Rights Network said in its report.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirming the release said that 27 women and 10 men were among those freed from Isis. The neogiations for the release of more Assyrian Christians are ongoing. So far a total 88 people have been released by Isis, the reports said.
However, fears are being raised that Isis after taking huge ransom from the Christians was releasing only the elderly, while the Sunni radical group is executing young men on trumped up charges such as "spying."
It is found that Isis is keeping the men and women separately. Among those released on Saturday was the mother of a young man executed by Isis weeks back.
"We believe she was not aware that her son had been executed and this is due to all the hostages being separated into different groups. This remains the sad reality for many, as they do not know if their family members are alive still due to the separation," A Demand for Action (ADFA), a Non-profit told IBTimes India in an email.
In October, Isis released an execution video, in which it killed three Assyrian Catholic Christians after demanding $14 million for the release of the kidnapped Christians.