Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
THURSDAY, 17 APR 2014
06:31 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
21 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Maaloula nuns deny being abducted in video
This video released by al-Jazeera shows Maaloula nuns. (The Daily Star/Al-Jazeera TV)
This video released by al-Jazeera shows Maaloula nuns. (The Daily Star/Al-Jazeera TV)
A+ A-

BEIRUT/DAMASCUS: A group of Orthodox nuns seized by Syrian rebels in the town of Maaloula appeared in a video broadcast Friday and said fierce shelling and bombardment had forced them to depart their convent.

In the brief footage aired by Al-Jazeera television, several of the nuns denied that they were being held hostage. Syrian rebels are believed to have taken the women to the nearby town of Yabroud, where they are reportedly staying in the home of a Christian family.

One of the nuns tells an unseen interlocutor that they are receiving “good treatment” during their ordeal. Another requests an immediate end to the targeting of holy places.

“A group brought us here and protected us, and we’re very, very happy with them,” one of the nuns says.

Anti-government activists from the Syrian General Revolution Commission denied reports that a rebel group had demanded that the regime release hundreds of female detainees in exchange for the release of the women. The nuns were taken from Maaloula’s Mar Taqla convent Monday.

Maaloula, Yabroud and other villages and towns in the Qalamoun region north of Damascus have been subject to a fierce regime offensive for over two weeks. Anti-government activists Thursday accused the regime forces of using chemical gas in a bombardment of the Qalamoun town of Nabk, where at least seven people were killed, reportedly exhibiting symptoms of poisoning.

Activists said they were in the process of collecting samples from the victims and the location of the strike.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, citing activists, said 17 bodies had been discovered in a bomb shelter in the government-controlled part of Nabk. The Observatory urged the Red Cross to be allowed access, to investigate accusations that regime troops were responsible for the massacre. Other activist reports cited significantly higher figures of victims.

In the Aleppo village of Bazaa, the Observatory said, a regime airstrike also killed 16 people, while in the northeastern, Kurdish-majority town of Qamishli, a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives near a building manned by paramilitary forces, killing at least five people, according to the state news agency and activists.

Syria’s state news agency SANA said the bombing occurred on a crowded street, killing six people and wounding 30. The Observatory said the blast targeted the National Defense Forces and killed at least five people and wounded 10.

The Observatory said it wasn’t clear whether the dead were National Defense paramilitaries.

Syrian state television, meanwhile, said at least three people had been killed and 15 wounded by rebel rocket fire on regime-held districts of Aleppo.

Weekly, nationwide demonstrations were mobilized under the slogan of “break the siege” of besieged areas around the country.

In the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp south of Damascus, one man was killed and six others wounded when fighters from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command fired at demonstrators, the Observatory said, citing activists.

In Kuwait, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Syrian President Bashar Assad must stand down to allow for a peaceful settlement to the conflict.

“We have always been very clear that a peaceful solution in Syria must require the departure of President Assad,” Hague told a news conference after talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Sabah.

“It is impossible to imagine after so many deaths, so much destruction, a regime oppressing and murdering its own people on this scale” should remain in power, Britain’s chief diplomat said.

The reiteration of Britain’s call for Assad’s ouster comes ahead of the proposed Geneva II peace talks, slated for Jan. 22.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 07, 2013, on page 1.
Home Middle East
 
     
 
Maaloula / Nabk / Yabroud / Yarmouk / Syria
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Thursday April 17, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS