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Elham AbolFateh

Middle East

Red Cross appeals for information on three staff missing in Syria since 2013

Monday 15/April/2019 - 10:47 AM
Red Cross appeals
Red Cross appeals for information on three staff missing in
Reuters) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) appealed on Sunday for information on the whereabouts of three employees abducted in Syria more than five years ago and last known to have been held by Islamic State.

Breaking its silence on the case، the independent aid agency identified the three as Louisa Akavi، a nurse from New Zealand، and Syrian drivers Alaa Rajab and Nabil Bakdounes.

U.S.-backed forces proclaimed the capture of Islamic State’s last territory in Syria last month، eliminating its rule over a caliphate which it had proclaimed in Iraq and Syria in 2014.
Reuters) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) appealed on Sunday for information on the whereabouts of three employees abducted in Syria more than five years ago and last known to have been held by Islamic State.

Breaking its silence on the case، the independent aid agency identified the three as Louisa Akavi، a nurse from New Zealand، and Syrian drivers Alaa Rajab and Nabil Bakdounes.

U.S.-backed forces proclaimed the capture of Islamic State’s last territory in Syria last month، eliminating its rule over a caliphate which it had proclaimed in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

Akavi, now 62, joined the ICRC in 1988 and worked in hotspots including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Somalia and Sri Lanka.

She has been held longer than anyone in ICRC’s 156-year history, said Dominik Stillhart, ICRC director of operations worldwide.

New Zealand’s government said it was searching for Akavi, who successive administrations had previously asked media not to name as they feared it would put her at greater risk. Foreign Minister Winston Peters said the government had deployed a non-combat team based in Iraq of around twelve people that included special operations personnel.

“This non-combat team was specifically focused on locating Louisa and identifying opportunities to recover her,” Peters said in an emailed statement.

Edited by Rehab Sayed.

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