IS frees 46 people in Syrian desert. Image Source: IANS News

Damascus, April 8 : The Islamic State (IS) has released 46 people out of the 59 the terror group abducted 24 hours ago in the Syrian desert region, a war monitor reported.

The IS militants on Wednesday released 46 and kept 13 people in captivity after capturing them in the desert region in the eastern countryside of Hama province, Xinhua news agency quoted the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying.

The 13 people include police officers, the watchdog group added.

It noted that a police officer was shot dead and many more were believed to be killed during the IS attack, which is the largest abduction carried out by the group in the desert region.

After losing key areas across Syria, the IS militants now have a strong presence in the sprawling desert region in eastern Syria.

The militants frequently carry out attacks and ambushes against the government forces in the desert region, prompting Syrian and Russian warplanes to strike their positions.

Since March 2019, a total of 1,381 Syrian soldiers and pro-government fighters have been killed by IS attacks.

At least 896 IS militants were killed in the same period.

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