Two boys hanged by ISIS for not fasting

An image grab taken from an undated video released by Al-Andalus Media Production/Shara Branch, a media branch for Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, on Sunday shows hostages Johan Gustafsson (left) and Stephen McGowan speaking with their captors on ca
An image grab taken from an undated video released by Al-Andalus Media Production/Shara Branch, a media branch for Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, on Sunday shows hostages Johan Gustafsson (left) and Stephen McGowan speaking with their captors on camera at an unknown location in Mali. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/HO/AL-ANDALUS MEDIA PRODUCTION

BEIRUT - The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has hanged two youths after accusing them of eating during daylight hours during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said.

Residents of the village of Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor province reported that on Monday, ISIS hanged two boys aged under 18 from a crossbar near the ISIS police headquarters, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

"The children have been suspended by ropes from a pole since noon, and they were still there in the late evening," he said. "Apparently, they were caught eating."

A placard attached to the bodies read: "They broke the fast with no religious justification."

Separately, reports from Senegal said two hostages kidnapped by Al-Qaeda militants in north Mali more than three years ago have asked their governments to help secure their release, in a rare video believed to have been posted by Al-Qaeda-linked sources.

Mr Stephen Malcolm McGowan of South Africa and Mr Johan Gustafsson of Sweden were seized in the desert city of Timbuktu in November 2011, weeks before secular and Islamist rebels took over Mali's north. A German man with them was shot dead during the capture while a Dutch hostage was freed during a raid by French commandos in April this year.

The date and location of the video are unclear.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2015, with the headline 'Two boys hanged by ISIS for not fasting'. Print Edition | Subscribe