IS releases 93 Kurds in Kobani, monitor reports

IS releases 93 Kurds in Kobani, monitor reports

IS have released 93 Kurds from the embattled city of Kobani after they were kidnapped in February on their way to Iraq, according to Syrian activists.

IS seized around 100 people, accusing them of being members of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) which has opposed the group, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The offshoot of al Qaeda, which is the target of US-led air strikes in Syria and Iraq, released all but six of the Kurds in that group in Syria on Monday, the Observatory said.

Although IS has frequently killed hostages in Syria and Iraq, including local residents, journalists, aid workers and rival fighters, it has occasionally released people.

In September, IS released 46 Turkish hostages held in northern Iraq after more than three months in captivity. Turkey has denied paying a ransom.

The remaining six captives were accused of theft and IS said it would cut off their right hands as a punishment.

The Kurds were seized as they crossed from areas around the Syrian town of Kobani on the Turkish border on a road towards Iraqi Kurdistan. IS has also fought with Kurds in Iraq.