Damascus: More than 300 employees of a cement factory have been kidnapped by ISIS east of Damascus, Syria’s official news agency said Thursday. SANA said “employees and executives of the Al-Badia cement factory” were abducted by the extremists,
“The company has informed the industry ministry that it hasn’t been able to make contact with kidnapped individuals,” SANA said.
Local residents had earlier reported that at least 250 workers at the plant had been missing since Monday. “We haven’t been able to reach our family members since noon Monday after an attack by ISIS on the factory,” said a resident of the town of Dumair, 50 km (30 miles) east of Damascus, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
“We have no information about where they are,” the resident added. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said “dozens” of staff were believed to have been seized by ISIS from the cement factory and taken to an unknown location.
The Badiyah cement factory lies outside Dumair, which has seen fierce fighting in recent days as government forces have shelled ISIS positions inside the town.
The Observatory said 18 civilians were killed in government shelling of the town. A Syrian security source told AFP that ISIS fighters had also tried to seize the nearby Dumair airbase and power plant from the government but had failed.