Aleppo (AsiaNews) - A group
of rebels close to Muslim extremists on Sunday abducted an Armenian Catholic
priest, Fr Michael, as well as a yet unknown Orthodox clergyman. Both were working
in Aleppo. Sources, anonymous for security reasons, told AsiaNews that the city's Christian community is very concerned
about the attack. "Extremist violence is getting worse day by day. Muslim militias
are killing anyone suspected of ties with the regime, including women and
children. People in the neighbourhoods are comparing these days to the Ottoman
conquest five centuries ago."
For several weeks,
residents had complained about the presence of al-Nusra
Front forces, Islamic extremists who want to turn Syria into an Islamic
state, feared even by the rebel Free Syrian Army.
On 6 February, Front
troops stormed the Christian neighbourhood of Jdeideh where extremists had already
destroyed the city's main Evangelical church in November.
Al-Nusra forces include
many foreigners, including Muslims from Indonesia and the Philippines, as
evinced by a statement posted online by the leader of Abu Sayyaf, an extremist
Muslim group with ties to al-Qaeda operating in the Philippines. In it, Muslims
are urged to go to Syria and sacrifice their lives for Islam.
"These fighters live
for killing and violence. They act without pity and make distinctions among
people," sources said. "When they kill, they turn to God as if they were making
between the military and rebel groups continue across Syria with more than
60,000 people killed so far.
Yesterday, a car bomb
killed 13 people near the Turkish border, at a road block in Cilvegozu, a
border crossing some 100 kilometres northwest of Aleppo, the main route of
escape for Syrian refugees fleeing the war. It has been in rebel hands for
several months. (S.C.)