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Al-Nusra 'abducts 300 Kurds in northwestern Syria'

Islamists have kidnapped some 300 Kurds in northern Syria, according to Kurdish officials. It is unclear which group was responsible for the abductions, but some sources claim al Qaeda's Nusra Front was behind the act.

"A group of 300 people on five coaches and a mini-bus coming from Afrin were kidnapped at a checkpoint as they went to Aleppo to collect their salaries," Newaf Khalil, a spokesman for the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), told media on Monday.

The abductions were also confirmed by a second PYD official and a local journalist who said that, while the women in the group were freed, the militants took away men and children.

"The Kurds were kidnapped in Dana, which is under the control of Islamist factions and al-Nusra Front," journalist Ali Abdul Rahman told AFP news agency.

The PYD officials accused al Qaeda's Nusra Front for the Kurd abductions, but Raham and the UK-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights monitoring group said it remained unclear which group was actually responsible.

Nusra wields considerable influence in war-ravaged Syria's northwestern Idlib province, where the kidnappings took place on Monday. The al Qaeda affiliate

took control of the provincial capital Idlib last week

with the help of other Islamist groups.

shs/rc (Reuters, AFP)

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