ISIS may have 24 western hostages including Britons


It is feared Islamic State holds at least 24 western hostages, including Britons.

Mostly aid workers and journalists, their identities are often kept secret by their home nations in case details about them become bargaining chips for their captors.

France, Spain and Italy have reportedly paid ransoms to free hostages and fighters have pocketed an estimated £45million.

When aid worker David Haines was taken at the Atmeh refugee camp in Syria’s Idlib province last year, he was snatched with co-worker Federico Motka from Italy. Motka was released last May.

In August, Italian aid workers Greta Ramelli, 20, and Vanessa Marzullo, 21, were grabbed in Aleppo.

Two Spanish and four French journalists have been freed this year. IS is also holding a 26-year-old American woman who was doing humanitarian work.

She is the third American known to have been taken by them.
US journalist Austin Tice vanished in Syria in August 2012.

Last November, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said at least 30 have been kidnapped or disappeared in Syria.

The group reported 52 journalists have been killed since Syria’s civil war began in 2011 and records at least 24 who vanished earlier this year but are now safe.

Elsewhere, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders claims at least 60 “news providers” are being detained and more than 110 have been killed.

It is also believed that Western hostages include UK nationals who went to fight for IS but then decided to try to return home.