BEIRUT — Syrian authorities have released a total of 61 women detainees, an activist group said Thursday, the latest in a three-way prisoner exchange that was one of the more ambitious negotiated deals in the country's civil war in which rival factions remain largely opposed to any bartered peace.
Meanwhile, electricity returned to parts of Damascus, hours after a power cut plunged the capital and other parts of the country into darkness.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday that the government of President Bashar Assad had freed the women over the past two days. There was no immediate comment from Syrian officials, nor details on who the women are or their current location.
The Observatory said the release was part of a complicated hostage swap last week brokered by Qatar and the Palestinian Authority that saw Syrian rebels free nine Lebanese Shiite Muslims, while Lebanese gunmen simultaneously released two Turkish pilots.
Lebanese officials have said a third part of the deal called for the Syrian government to free a number of women detainees to meet the rebels' demands.