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Syrian Christian villagers held hostage

Catholic World News - September 25, 2012

An armed band is holding 280 Christians as hostages in the Syrian town of Rableh, near the Lebanese border.

The gunmen seized 150 people on Monday, September 24, and another 130 on Tuesday. The detainees have been crowded into a school building in a neighboring village. The armed men are apparently planning to demand ransom payment.

Residents in the Christian community of Rableh are fearful because three people who had been abducted from the town a few days earlier were found dead.

The perpetrators of the kidnapping have not yet been identified with any group. The political upheaval in Syria has led to a breakdown in the civic order, unleashing violence by criminal gangs.

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