QARYATAYN (REUTERS) - Twenty-six hostages held by Isis militants came back to their loved ones on Sunday (Oct 30) after escaping from their captors.
A resident says, "Thank God they returned safe and we hope everybody returns."
They are among about 70 people who were abducted and taken to a secret location in the desert on Oct 21 when the Syrian army and its allies took back control of the town southeast of Homs, the current focus of the government's offensive.
But locals authorities say others are still missing.
The hostages are said to have escaped after they got past a militant while he took a nap. Officials say they grabbed his gun and shot him dead.
About 200 people turned out to welcome the hostages home.
But their return is still overshadowed by the evil witnessed in the town over the past few weeks when authorities say militants rounded up local officials and members of their families and executed them in broad daylight.