As many as 300 Kurdish civilians have been kidnapped at a checkpoint in Syria.
The incident took place on Sunday evening (5 April) in northwestern Syria and is reported to have been carried out by al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front, although they have not yet claimed responsibility.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said it is not immediately clear how many people are being held and by which group, but that the abductors had made demands - via the released women - that three men arrested in Afrin be released.
The civilians were abducted as they made their way from Afrin to Aleppo to collect their salaries according to officials from Syria's main Kurdish party, the Democratic Union Party (PYD).
"A group of 300 people on five coaches and a mini-bus coming from Afrin were kidnapped at a checkpoint as they went to Aleppo to collect their salaries," said Newaf Khalil, a spokesman for the Kurdish Democratic Union Party.
The kidnapping was confirmed by a second PYD official as well as a journalist in Afrin, who said that the Islamists had taken the men and children while the women had been freed.
"There were 300 people on five buses, and they were kidnapped in Dana, which is under the control of Islamist factions and al-Nusra Front," said journalist Ali Abdul Rahman.