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19236Syria nuns taken from Maaloula in new video: Al-Jazeera

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    Feb 11, 2014
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      Syria nuns taken from Maaloula in new video: Al-Jazeera
      February 09, 2014

      DOHA: A group of nuns from the historic Christian-majority town of
      Maalula in Syria appeared in a new video broadcast by the Qatar-based
      satellite news channel Al-Jazeera on Sunday.

      The women are reportedly 12 nuns from a Greek Orthodox convent of Mar
      Takla in Maalula who were taken by gunmen in early December. Al-Jazeera
      said the video it broadcast on Sunday was recorded on February 5.

      They appeared in the recording without audio, but a commentator said
      "they say they are in good health, haven't been mistreated... and they
      are waiting for their release to return to the convent".

      The report gave no indication of where the nuns were being held, but
      said that they were "Syrian and Lebanese" and had been "kidnapped".

      On December 6, the station broadcast a short video of the nuns in which
      they denied they had been kidnapped.

      They were reported missing from the town north of Damascus after rebel
      forces, including jihadists, seized control of Maalula in early December.

      Religious officials said 12 nuns and three maids had gone missing from
      the convent, although one of the nuns in the video said they were 13
      nuns and 3 "civilians".

      Media close to the Syrian regime had accused rebels of using the nuns as
      human shields, and fears were expressed for their safety.

      In the latest footage, the nuns "thank all those who are seeking to
      obtain their release and call for the release of all prisoners",
      Al-Jazeera reported them as saying.

      It said "the kidnappers are demanding the release of women held in
      Syrian prisons to set the nuns free", without elaborating.

      Maalula, a picturesque village cut into the cliffs some 55 kilometres
      (35 miles) from Damascus, has long been a symbol of the ancient
      Christian presence in Syria.

      Its residents are some of the few left in the world who speak Aramaic,
      the language Jesus Christ is believed to have spoken.

      Read more:
      (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)