Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has confirmed the nationalities of the five staffers with the Geneva-based humanitarian non-governmental organization who were seized by foreign-militants in Syria earlier this week.
“We can confirm that our personnel who have disappeared are expatriates of Belgian, Danish, Peruvian, Swedish and Swiss nationalities,” an MSF spokeswoman said in a brief statement on Saturday.
She went on to say that, “In difficult moments, discretion is crucial for the security of our colleagues.”
The humanitarian organization said in a statement that the five MSF staffers, who were removed from their house in northern Syria on January 2, had been taken “apparently for questioning.”
MSF has six hospitals and four health centers in northern Syria, and provides health support to people within Syria as well as Syrian refugees.
In September 2013, a Syrian surgeon working for the group was killed in northern Syria.
Syria has been gripped by deadly crisis since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are supporting the militants operating inside the country.
According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has gripped Syria for over two years.
The UN also says more than four million other Syrians will be forced out of their homes in 2014 by the escalating conflict in the country.