ASIA/SYRIA - Negotiations on the release of father Murad and 270 hostages, Christians and Muslims

Friday, 4 September 2015

Homs (Agenzia Fides) - Father Jacques Murad and about 270 Christians and Muslims taken hostage by jihadi militias during their offensive in southeast of Homs are alive, and their condition is currently considered quite "stable and secure". Some heads of local ecclesial communities are carrying out negotiations through mediators to obtain their release as soon as possible. This is the only certain information provided to Agenzia Fides by local sources regarding the fate of the Syrian priest who belongs to the monastic community of Deir Mar Musa - kidnapped on May 21 by a group of kidnappers while he was in the monastery of Mar Elian - and other Christians and Muslims captured by jihadists in August. The sources contacted by Fides confirm that all the hostages are still in Quaryatayn, and specify that the news on the story of father Murad broadcast in recent days by Lebanese television network Nursat TV did not include any statement regarding the religious person kidnapped, but only reassuring considerations about his fate, expressed by another priest. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 04/09/2015)