No government appeared to stop the fundraising, but the Assyrians say no country stepped in to free the captives either.
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The Assyrian Christians were seized from the Khabur River valley in northern Syria, among the last holdouts of a minority that had been chased across the Mideast for generations. On Feb. 23, 2015, Daesh fighters attacked 35 Christian towns simultaneously, sweeping up scores of people. It took more than a year, and videotaped killings of three captives, before all the rest were freed. The group told the 17 men captured from one village, Tal Goran, they could have their freedom but with a catch. Four female captives would remain, and one of the men had to deliver a message to their bishop in the town of Hassakeh about 40 miles away, and return with an answer. Abdo Marza reluctantly agreed. His 6-year-old daughter was one of the captives. Athneil began secret negotiations for the remaining captives.Daesh's starting demand of $50,000 a person would mean more than $11 million for the remaining captives.While no government appeared to stop the fundraising, the Assyrians say no country stepped in to free the captives either.The last Khabur captives were on their way out. But when the bus arrived in Hassakeh, only 42 hostages were on board.
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