Syria insurgents claim to have freed British woman

BEIRUT (AP) — A coalition of several insurgent groups in Syria claimed it has freed a British woman and her five children who were kidnapped in the country as they fled an area controlled by their rival the Islamic State group.

The statement by Jabha al-Shamiya, or the Levant Front, was reported Tuesday by the U.S- based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant websites. It was posted on the group’s Facebook page.

The British Foreign Office said a British woman and her five children have been reported missing in Turkey, but a spokeswoman wouldn’t confirm it is the same case.

“We continue to work closely with the Turkish authorities on the whereabouts of a British national and her children, originally reported missing in Turkey, and stand by to provide consular assistance,” the spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

On the Front’s Facebook page, the group, which mostly operates in the northern Aleppo province, said the woman had traveled to an area controlled by the Islamic State group to convince her husband to leave, but failed. The Front said the woman was kidnapped as she fled from the IS-held area; it didn’t identify her kidnappers. It said the kidnappers tried to “extort” the woman, but would not elaborate.

The Front also said it handed the woman over to her “people” Monday night, reporting that the woman was in good health.

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