BEIRUT: Residents of a town in the Druze-majority province of Swaida have kidnapped three refugees from next-door Deraa in a bid to gain the release of their own kidnapped relatives.
Opposition media outlets said the seizure took place Sunday in the town of Shahba, and was carried out by some of the families of 17 men from Swaida who were reportedly kidnapped in Deraa by militants from the hard-line Nusra Front more than a year ago.
A statement issued in the name of the families said their efforts to secure the release of several groups of hostages seized in Deraa had failed, which prompted them to act.
A pro-opposition media outlet said leading figures in Deraa had informed the Swaida families that they would be unable to pressure the Nusra Front into releasing the men.
The statement demanded that the fate of all Swaida natives who have gone missing in Deraa be revealed.