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NOW

Pro-Al-Qaeda group overruns Syria’s Azaz

A pro-Al-Qaeda group took over the Syrian town of Azaz near the border with Turkey, Reuters reported.

 

The group overran the town following clashes with the rebel Free Syrian Army on Wednesday.

 

According to activists, the group called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant attacked Aleppo’s Azaz killing and arresting FSA rebels.

 

Meanwhile, NOW reported that the spokesperson of the Syrian rebel group holding the Lebanese Shiite pilgrims in the same Aleppo town was killed during the clashes.

 

It, however, added that there were no reports regarding the fate of the Lebanese hostages.

 

Eleven Shiite pilgrims were abducted in Syria’s Azaz in May 2012 while returning from a pilgrimage in Iran.

Later in the month, a previously unknown armed group calling itself the "Syrian Revolutionaries—Aleppo Province" said that it was holding the group, while the Free Syrian Army repeatedly denied its involvement in the abduction.

 

Two of the kidnapped pilgrims – Awad Ibrahim and Hussein Ali Omar – were released.

Their families accuse Ankara of sponsoring the kidnapping and the Lebanese government of inaptness in this regard. 

According to activists, the group called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant attacked Aleppo’s Aazaz killing and arresting FSA rebels.