» 03/02/2015, 00.00
SYRIA - ISLAM
Islamic State group frees 19 Syrian Christians in Syria after a ransom is paid
After jihadists seized the Tal Tamr area and at least ten Christian villages, they took 220 people hostage. Judged by an "Islamic court", 19 were released after paying US$ 1,700 per person. Assyrian and Islamic tribal leaders are negotiating the release of the other hostages.
Nuncio to Damascus: IS releases 52 abducted Christian families without a ransom payment
No money was exchanged for the hostages, who were part of a group of 250 people taken by jihadists. Some 16 people, eight Christians and eight Kurds, are still in IS hands. The hostages were seized for use as "human shields," Mgr Zenari said. Meanwhile, fighting continued yesterday in Damascus and Aleppo.
Nuncio to Syria has no news about abducted Christians, but is "confident" in a positive outcome
Mgr Zenari told AsiaNews that the Islamic State group still holds about 200 Christians. He regrets that a previous release attempt failed because of an ambush that forced the Jihadists to retreat. For the prelate, there is still enough "good will to find a solution."
Despite their uncertain fate, Mgr Audo denies rumours that 15 Christians have been killed
The Chaldean Archbishop of Aleppo, who contacted the vicar in Al-Hasakah, denies reports that the Islamic State group executed hostages. The Apostolic Nuncio to Damascus renews his call for caution "because it is difficult to have accurate information." The fate and number of kidnapped Christians by jihadists remain uncertain.
IS holding more than 250 Christians, for vicar to Aleppo, pope's prayers are a source of courage
Pope Francis is closely monitoring the situation in Syria and praying for the Christian minority. For Mgr Georges Abou Khazen, the pope's closeness is a source "of great consolation and help." The road to peace "is long, but the only one possible." At least 5,000 Christians fled from the Islamists. The UN Security Council condemns the abductions.
Joy for Fr Mourad, fear for the fate of 190 Christian prisoners held by the Islamic State
Syrian Christians are happy for the clergyman’s escape after five months in jihadi captivity but greatly concerned about the fate of their co-religionists, and possible reprisals against them. In spite of repeated death threats, Fr Mourad “never signed a statement to renounce Christianity.”
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