Missing Syrian nuns appear in video
December 09, 2013
The Syrian Orthodox nuns who were reportedly abducted from their convent in the historic Christian town of Ma'loula have appeared in a video, Agence France-Presse reported. Their captors are offering to free the nuns in exchange for 1,000 female political prisoners, according to a separate report, but questions have been raised as to whether the latter report is reliable.
In a video, which was taken in an unknown location, a nun denied they had been kidnapped and said that “a group brought us here and protected us, and we're very, very happy with them.”
The “Free Qalamoun Brigade,” which has claimed credit for the nuns’ abduction, did not deny that they were being held captive, and said that they “will only be freed in exchange for the liberation of 1,000 women prisoners from regime jails,” according to the Saudi newspaper Sharq al Awsat. A spokesman for the group said that the exchange offer had been relayed through the Vatican to the Syrian government.
However, the ANSA news agency cautioned that the reported exchange offer was unreliable. “There is no such rebel group as the “Free Qalamoun Brigade,” a Syrian source told ANSA—leaving the status of the kidnapped nuns unclear.
- Syria nuns appear in video, deny kidnapped by rebels (AFP)
- Pope appeals for nuns kidnapped in Syria (CWN, 12/4)
- Syria: rebels propose 1,000 prisoner-12 hostage nuns swap (ANSA)
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