aleppo airstrike, syria.jpg
Photograph: EPA/ZOUHIR AL SHIMALE

Well-known Syrian activist and cameraman, Khaled Issa, who was seriously injured earlier this month in a bomb blast in the Syrian city of Aleppo, died late Friday in a hospital in Turkey, activists and a close friend told dpa.

"Khaled, who was suppose to go to Germany for treatment, died from his serious wounds shortly before midnight (2200 GMT)," his friend and longtime neighbour, Radi Saad, said.   

Abdel-Rahman, a member of the nongovernmental group White Helmet Civil Defence, also confirmed Issa's death.

Activists on social media filled their pages with Issa's pictures and wrote "a new hero has died." 

On Thursday, German authorities had been in contact with people close to the activist to find a quick solution to arrange a medical evacuation to Germany.

Issa, in his early 20s, was among the first Syrians to take to the streets in Aleppo in a pro-democracy uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.

He was from the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib.

Issa and another prominent media activist, Hadi al-Abdallah, were injured in a bomb explosion in the rebel-held side of Aleppo last week.

Their specific injuries were not known, although Issa reportedly received more serious injuries than al-Abdallah. Both were transferred to Turkey for treatment.

Two days before the blast, both activists had survived an airstrike in Aleppo that left them with slight injuries.

A monitoring group said earlier Friday that Islamic State had abducted around 900 mainly Kurd civilians in northern Syria over the past three weeks as Kurdish-led insurgents attempt to dislodge the extremists from their strongholds in the area.

The kidnappings took place in villages near the Islamic State-controlled town of al-Bab in the province north-east of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights added.  

"The 900 included some Arabs from the villages near al-Bab, but the majority are Kurds," Observatory head Rami Abdel-Rahman told dpa.

The militants transferred some 350 of the people abducted to al-Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic State in Syria, he said.

The others were reportedly taken to detention centres inside Islamic State-held areas in northern Syria.

The extremists executed 13 civilians and shot dead five more who attempted to escape, the Observatory said. 

On May 31, the Kurd-led Democratic Forces of Syria (DFS) started an offensive to drive Islamic State from the northern town of Minbij, which is less than 20 kilometres from the Turkish border. 

The DFS, a US-backed alliance of Arabs and Kurds, entered Minbij on Thursday.

Minbij, under Islamic State's rule since 2014, is strategically important because of its location along a supply route from the Turkish border to al-Raqqa. 

Meanwhile, DFS forces made more important strategic advances towards the centre of the city of Minbij, Abdel Rahman said.

"The DFS made a crucial and important advances towards Swamaa and Dowar al-Matahin, which is only two kilometres from the center of the city of Minbij," he said, adding that half of the city of Minbij is now "under the DFS's direct fire."   

On Thursday, the DFS backed by US airstrikes, stormed the town from the south-west.

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