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    » 06/28/2013, 00.00

    SYRIA

    Strong doubts expressed about the beheading of three Franciscan friars in Al-Ghassaniyah



    A local Catholic source tells AsiaNews that there is no evidence of an execution because "there are no Franciscans in the area." The Custody of the Holy Land denies the execution of the three friars.

    Al-Ghassaniyah (AsiaNews) - There are many doubts about the beheading of three Franciscan friars in Al-Ghassaniyah by suspected al Nusra militants.

    A Catholic local source told AsiaNews that there is no evidence of the execution because "there are no Franciscans in the area."

    Reports about the incident were first made by the Christian Middle East News Agency (MCN Direct), which were picked up today by Radio France International.

    Both cite a video posted on Youtube by the terrorists themselves, showing Fr Franҫois Mourad, the Syrian monk killed a few days ago during an attack against the monastery of al-Ghassaniyah, and two other hostages. The agencies claim that the two other hostages are friars, including a bishop.

    In the video, the extremists explain in detail the identity of the three hostages and the reasons for their execution. One of the alleged friars, whom they claim to be F Mourad, supposedly had the phone number of a Syrian army officer on his mobile phone.

    This version runs counter to statements issued by the Custody of the Holy Land, which said that Fr Mourad was killed at the convent.

    Sources told AsiaNews that Franciscans from the Custody and Sisters of the Rosary in Al-Ghassaniyah confirmed that the monk's body was taken from the monastery to a convent in Latakia, where they held a funeral for him on Tuesday.

    In an official statement, the Custody denied the death of the three brothers, urging all Catholics to pray for Syria, and calling on the international community to work to end the violence in that country. Members of the Greek Orthodox communities deny the presence of Orthodox bishops or priests in the video spread by the rebels.

     

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    See also

    30/06/2015 SYRIA
    Syria: In first ever, Islamic state beheads two women accused of "witchcraft"
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    19/02/2016 15:38:00 IRAQ
    Mosul: Islamic State beheads 15-year-old boy for listening to “Western music"

    The victim, Hussein Ayham, was arrested by a Jihadi patrol at his father's shop. The execution took place in a public square and sparked outrage among locals. Two teenaged boys were executed for not attending Friday prayers. Women rape survivors were stoned for “adultery”.



    25/06/2013 SYRIA
    Custos of the Holy Land: Fr Franҫois Mourad killed by Islamist insurgents in al-Ghassaniyah
    Fr Pizzaballa talks about the killing of the priest, new martyr in Syria. Franҫois Mourad was killed during an attack by Islamic fighters against the Monastery of St Anthony, in Idlib province. Until his death, the priest had worked with the Franciscans to alleviate the suffering of Christians and Muslims. Now the village stands completely destroyed.

    24/06/2013 SYRIA
    Idlib: monk killed at Franciscan convent in Al-Ghassaniyah
    Fr Franҫois Mourad, a Syrian hermit, was a guest at the Franciscan monastery of St Anthony of Padua in Al-Ghassaniyah. What happened is still unclear. Some sources say a stray bullet killed him; others claim Islamist insurgents shot him as they plundered and destroyed the religious building.

    26/06/2013 SYRIA
    Fr Mourad, "a man of faith" who gave his life for Christ and Syrians
    Interviewed by AsiaNews, a Franciscan in Syria talks about Fr Franҫois Mourad's mission, who was killed last Sunday in Al-Ghassaniyah (Idlib). Despite Islamist threats, he chose to stay and help the village parish priest and residents.



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