ASIA/SYRIA - Battle for Maalula, under sniper fire
Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - Soldiers of the regular army have entered Maalula, the Christian village which was attacked and seized by Islamist groups in recent days. According to local sources contacted by Fides Agency, local Christian youth fighting alongside the soldiers are under fire from snipers stationed in homes. Retaking the village seems to be very difficult because of the way it is built, where houses are perched on steep slopes. As reported to Fides, so far 3 young Greek Catholic Christians have been killed and six men have been abducted and taken somewhere near the city of Yabrud, on the slopes of the Qalamoun mountains.
Religious community members, men and women, who are still present in the village, are safe and sound. The Greek Orthodox nuns in the convent of Santa Tecla were "under siege" and were in fear for several days, while armed groups threatened to invade the convent and crosses have been removed and many civilian homes have been sacked. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 12/09/2013)
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