Knayeh (Agenzia Fides) - After the release of Father Hanna Jallouf OFM, parish priest in the Syrian village of Knayeh, about five men of the twenty parishioners who with him had been kidnapped by a brigade of jihadists, the night between Sunday 5 and Monday 6, October (see Fides 7 and 9/10/2014) are still held hostage. Local sources told Fides Agency that the five men are involved in the activities of the Franciscan convents in the villages of Knayeh and the adjacent village of Yacoubieh, both located in an area of northwestern Syria for years under the control of anti-regime militiamen.
Father Hanna’s uncle is among the five men still detained. The others are the cook of the convent of St. Joseph in Knayeh and the factotum worker of the convent of Our Lady of Fatima in Yacoubieh, together with their brothers.
New details have emerged with the passing of time which clarify the dynamics of the raid on the night between Sunday and Monday last: it was not a kidnapping, but a punitive measure implemented on the disposal of the Islamic Court of Darkush, a few kilometers from Knayeh. This is the same Islamic Court where Fr. Hanna Jallouf had launched an appeal days before the blitz of the militiamen in the parish, to denounce the increasing harassment suffered by the convent by armed Islamists.
In some interviews yesterday, the Custody of the Holy Land Peirbattista Pizzaballa OFM confirmed that father Hanna is confined in his village, pending the outcome of the trial at the Islamic Court in which he is under investigation on charges of collaboration with the Assad regime. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 10/10/2014)