Syria's justice minister denies being captured by rebels

Syria's justice minister denies being captured by rebels
Blog: Najm al-Ahmad reportedly calls Syrian television news to counter claims he had been captured by rebels in a raid on regime stronghold Damascus.
1 min read
11 June, 2015
Jaish al-Islam are active in the Eastern Ghouta district of Syria [AFP]
Syria's justice minister has denied claims that he had been kidnapped by the Jaish al-Islam rebel group during a rebel raid in the centre of Damascus.

A pro-regime TV channel received a phone call purportedly from Najm al-Ahmad saying that he was safe and in Damascus.

"Today is 10 June, and I have attended a cabinet meeting in the morning and I am now in a meeting doing my job as usual. I was not exposed to any attack or harmed in any way," he said.

Jaish al-Islam claimed to have "arrested" a senior figure in the regime after the raid in the capital, and taken him to their stronghold in Ghouta.

Speculation has been rife about who the captive could be, and the group refused to give a name.

Claims by rebel groups to have killed senior regime figures have been frequent during the war in Syria, although most have been false. 

However, in 2012, rebels bombed security headquarters in Damascus, which killed a minister and senior intelligence and military figures.