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Syrian boy kidnapped three months ago freed after ransom paid

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (AP) – Kidnappers in southern Syria released a boy they had held for over three months after his family paid ransom, state media reported yesterday.

The case of eight-year-old Fawaz Quteifan shocked Syrians for weeks after his kidnappers released a video showing him screaming while being whipped with a hose to pressure his family to pay the ransom.

Local media reported the ransom was USD139,000, with some alleging the kidnappers had threatened to start cutting off Quteifan’s fingers if the money wasn’t paid.

Authorities have detained a suspect linked to a telephone number used to send threats related to the kidnapping, state media reported, adding that Interpol had helped in tracking the number.

The police commander for the southern province of Daraa said the police did not interfere when the parents dropped off the money for fear of the child’s safety. Brigadier General Darar al-Dandal told state TV that a motorcycle dropped the boy off near a grain silo afterwards in in the southern village of Nawa.

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