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Published On: Mon, Mar 10th, 2014

Nuns from Syrian monastery released after three months in al-Nusra captivity

Thirteen nuns and three attendants were released by Syrian insurgents after disappearing from their monastery in Maaloula, reported Lebanese and Syrian officials early Monday.

The rebels claim they were protecting the women as government soldiers were attacking the area. Syrian officials claim they were abducted as an act of intimidating Christians in the region.

Officials said Sunday afternoon that the nuns had crossed the mountainous border to Arsal, a pro-rebel town in Lebanon, to be handed off to Lebanese officials and driven to Syria. Reporters and government supporters waited hours at the border with no sign of the nuns.

Early Monday, the Lebanese channel Al Jadeed showed the black-clad nuns at the border, beaming, as one embraced a Lebanese security official and officers carried another.

Mother Pelagia Sayaf, the head of the Mar Taqla monastery in Maaloula, thanked President Bashar al-Assad, saying he had worked with Qatari officials for their release. She said the nuns were “treated very well” by the insurgents and were not prevented from wearing religious symbols.

“We weren’t harassed at all,” she said. “No one forced us to remove our crosses.” 

They were released after negotiations that, according to official news media and Syrian insurgents, involved Lebanese and Syrian officials; the intelligence chief of Qatar, a country that has supported the revolt in Syria; and members of the radical Islamist insurgent group the Nusra Front.

Syria's Bashar al-Assad may be seeing US missiles soon as approval to use force against the Assad regime took a step forward Wednesday. photo donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad photo donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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