Daesh attack on Syria truffle hunters kills at least 26: Monitor

Since February, more than 200 people have been killed in militant attacks targeting truffle hunters or by landmines left by extremists

By AFP

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

A customer buys a desert truffle from a merchant in a market in Syria's rebel-held northern city of Raqa on March 14, 2023.  The prized fungus can sell for up to $25 per kilogramme depending on size and grade —in a country where the average monthly wage is around $18.— AFP file
A customer buys a desert truffle from a merchant in a market in Syria's rebel-held northern city of Raqa on March 14, 2023. The prized fungus can sell for up to $25 per kilogramme depending on size and grade —in a country where the average monthly wage is around $18.— AFP file

Published: Sun 16 Apr 2023, 6:36 PM

Suspected Daesh group fighters killed at least 26 people on Sunday in Syria, a war monitor said, the latest in a spate of attacks targeting people foraging for desert truffles.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said "civilians and at least 10 pro-regime fighters" were among "the 26 people killed in an attack by Daesh fighters while they were collecting truffles in the desert east of (the central city of) Hama".

Separately on Sunday, suspected Daesh militants killed four shepherds in the eastern Syrian region of Deir Ezzor, said the Observatory that relies on a wide network of sources on the ground.

The militants, who carried automatic rifles and rode motorbikes, also stole the sheep before fleeing, the monitor added.

Syria's desert truffles fetch high prices in a country battered by 12 years of war and a crushing economic crisis.

Between February and April each year, hundreds of impoverished Syrians search for truffles in the vast Syrian desert, or Badia —a known hideout for militants that is also littered with landmines.

Since February, more than 200 people -- most of them civilians -- have been killed in Daesh attacks targeting truffle hunters or by landmines left by the extremists, according to the Observatory.

In March 2019, Daesh lost its last scraps of territory in Syria following a military campaign backed by a US-led coalition but militant remnants continue to hide in the desert and launch deadly attacks.

The Syrian desert is renowned for producing some of the best quality truffles in the world.

The prized fungus can sell for up to $25 per kilogramme depending on size and grade —in a country where the average monthly wage is around $18.


More news from World