Damascus, April 9: The Islamic State (IS) claimed on Friday to have released 300 workers abducted from a cement factory after earlier TV reports said 175 workers had been executed.
In a statement carried by the IS' Amaq news agency on Friday, the group still detain 20 workers and has executed four workers from the Druze minority, which is considered as an infidel sect by the IS creed, Xinhua reported.
The statement said the militants had moved the workers to a secure place after capturing the cement factory in the town of Dumair, northeast of the capital Damascus earlier this week.
It added that the workers were given medical treatment and food.
The hostages have been interrogated by the IS terrorists to "find out whether there were non-Muslims or regime members among them," the statement said.
The detained 20 workers were confirmed as the members of the National Defense Forces, a paramilitary force backing the Syrian army.
Meanwhile, the Military Media in Damascus, a semi-official channel covering the battles in Syria, reported that when the IS terrorist attacked the factory, there were 260 employees, 30 of whom were drivers.
"The IS interrogated those workers and set free the majority of them at 3:00 a.m. (local time) on Thursday," the channel said, adding that some released workers reached a position of the Syrian army in the city of Jairod north of Damascus, while others reached the military airbase of Dumair, which is close to the factory.