Two Canadians held hostage in Syria released

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Both Mr Moore and Ms Bimbachi are from the town of Chatham, Ontario, about 300km (185 miles) southwest of Toronto.

Two Canadians held hostage in Syria have been released into the custody of Turkish officials.

Sean Allen Moore and Jolly Bimbachi were held by al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in Syria.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is an al-Qaeda-linked jihadist alliance that dominates the north-western Syrian province of Idlib.

It is not clear how either Ms Bimbachi or Mr Moore ended up as hostages in Syria.

“We are relieved that two Canadian citizens have safely left Syria,” said Global Affairs Canada spokeswoman Amy Mills in a statement.

Ms Mills said the department would not offer more details on the case due to privacy concerns.

Ms Bimbachi left Canada for Lebanon last year to search for her children.

Their father had taken them to Lebanon in 2015 to visit relatives but did not return as planned, according to the Chatham Daily News.

She ended up in Syria where she was kidnapped by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is a Syrian jihadist group formerly known as al-Nusra Front until it distanced itself from al-Qaeda in 2016.

Mr Moore was in the Middle East to assist Ms Bimbachi in returning her children to Canada, CBC news reported.

Both Mr Moore and Ms Bimbachi are from the town of Chatham, Ontario, about 300km (185 miles) southwest of Toronto.

Jeff Bultje told the BBC that his friend Mr Moore was “in the helping business” and had travelled to the region previously on charity missions.

“He loves to dig into stuff,” Mr Bultje said. “To set things right.”

He said he last spoke to Mr Moore around Christmas.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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