Three Red Cross and one Red Crescent aid workers released from group kidnapped in northern Syria

Humanitarian agency official tweets that four of the seven kidnapped on Sunday are safe

Four out of a group of seven Red Cross and Red Crescent workers kidnapped by armed militants in northern Syria are free and safe, according to a senior official at the humanitarian agency.

Robert Mardini, the International Committee of the Red Cross' (ICRC) head of operations for the Middle East, tweeted that the four released were "safe and sound".

While the ICRC's Geneva office has confirmed the tweet is accurate, they are yet to provide any more details.

The team from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had been visiting the area from Damascus in order to assess the medical situation and look at the best ways to provide its people with aid.

Gunmen described by the Syrian regime as ‘terrorists’ ambushed and fired upon the international team’s convoy before seizing the workers on Sunday.

Their convoy of four vehicles was stopped and, according to reports from Syria’s state news agency, fired upon by a group of gunmen described as “terrorists” – a term the regime often uses to describe those who oppose the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

The seven people seized included six members of the ICRC and a volunteer from the Syrian Red Crescent, according to a statement.

Simon Schorno, a spokesman for the ICRC based in Damascus, said the kidnapping took place at around 11.30am local time (9.30am BST) on Sunday, near the town of Saraqeb in the Idlib province.

Mr Schorno said the names and nationalities of the international team were not being released.

He said the team of seven had been working the north of the country since 10 October, and added that the part of Syria where they were working is “by definition a difficult area to go in”.

Disparate rebel groups control much of northern Syria, including the countryside of Idlib, and kidnappings have become an increasingly common occurrence, particularly among aid workers and foreign journalists.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Mechanical Design Engineer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: MECHANICAL D...

SQL DBA (2005/2008/2012, projects, storage requirements)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Copywriter - Corporate clients - Wimbledon

£21000 - £23000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Copywriter - London As a Copywrite...

Horticulture Lecturer / Tutor / Assessor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: As a result of our successf...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried