Syria frees dozens more women in hostage deal

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Syrian authorities have released dozens of women prisoners, including prominent blogger Tal al-Mallohi, in one of the final stages of a three-way hostage exchange deal, a monitoring group said Thursday.

A total of 61 women detainees have been freed over the past two days by the government of President Bashar al-Assad as part of the Qatari- and Turkish-brokered deal.

The deal succeeded in securing the release of nine Lebanese Shiite Muslims from Syrian rebels earlier in the week, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

A Syrian court granted Mallohi amnesty, the Observatory said, in statements carried by Reuters.

The blogger was arrested while in her late teens, more than a year before the Syrian uprising began in 2011.

The deal, which involves Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Qatar and the Palestinian Authority, called on the Syrian government to free around 200 women detainees to meet the opposition’s demands.

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