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Israel-Hamas war: 2 more hostages released on 6th day of ceasefire

Israel confirmed the release Wednesday of two more hostages who were being held by Hamas after militants launched a surprise attack on the country on Oct. 7.

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The Israeli prime minister’s office identified the two released as Irena Tati, 73, and Yelena Trupanov, 50. Tati is Trupanov’s mother, The Guardian reported.

A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said the pair were transferred to Egypt before they returned to Israel.

Trupanov and Tati are citizens of both Russia and Israel and their release came following a request by the Russian government, The Washington Post reported, citing a statement from Hamas. More hostages are also expected to be released Wednesday as part of the ceasefire agreement with Israel.

Tati and Trupanov were released by Hamas on the sixth day of a negotiated humanitarian truce in the weekslong war between the militant group and Israel. Since the start of the ceasefire on Friday, Hamas has released 91 hostages in exchange for the release of 180 Palestinian civilians, according to numbers released by officials in Qatar. The country is among those aiding negotiations.

Israel has indicated that it is open to extending the ceasefire — which was initially set to last four days but expanded earlier this week to cover two more days — if Hamas continues to free at least 10 Israeli hostages per day, Reuters reported.

Officials in the country believe that Hamas still has an estimated 159 hostages, according to CNN. White House officials said earlier this week that as many as nine Americans might be among the hostages.

The war between Hamas and Israel began Oct. 7, when Hamas launched a surprise attack that killed about 1,200 people, according to NPR. Hundreds of people were taken hostage, and Israel launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

Thousands of people have died since the start of the conflict, although exact numbers remain unclear.