12/07/2013, 00.00
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Ma'aloula nuns in video: We're fine, we will be released in two days

by Paul Dakiki
Al Jazeera broadcasts video in which the religious sisters claim to be "protected" for " their safety." Shortly before, the al- Ahrar Brigades Qalamoun , the opposition claimed the kidnapping and demanded the release of thousands of Syrian women in prisons Assad . Watch the video .

Beirut ( AsiaNews) - The group of Orthodox nuns kidnapped December 2 from their monastery in Ma'aloula, appeared yesterday in a video broadcast by Al Jazeera. In it, the nuns reassure everyone by saying that they are comfortable and that will be released within two days.

A few minutes before the video was released, a rebel group calling itself Ahrar al-Qalamoun Brigades claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and called for the release of "a thousand Syrian women detained in prisons of the Syrian regime" in exchange for the release of the sisters.

The amateur video shows the sisters in a large room with sofas. The person filming is a man who is never scene in the video but questions and suggests things to say to the sisters .

"We are fine. We're staying at a beautiful villa and we'll leave in two days," says one of the nuns in the video.

"We left the monastery because of the intensity of shelling ... We call for an end to the shelling of churches and mosques ... Our hosts are kind and they have taken care of us," says another nun.

"We were treated in a good manner and we're happy because we were evacuated from the monastery" says a third nun.

A fourth held woman added: "We will leave in two days". Then almost recovering, states: "We are not abducted, we only kept in safety."

The sisters continue to say that "the group that hosts them and that made ​​them leave the monastery of St. Thecla", did so for their "safety". And ensure that they are "13 religious and three civilians to have left the monastery because of the bombing".

In recent days, Pope Francis and Greek - Orthodox Patriarch Youhanna Yazigi have appealed to the kidnappers to release the sisters and asked for prayers for them.

A few hours ago the Greek - catholic patriarch Gregory Laham thanked "everyone who contributed to the well-being" of the Maalula nuns but said that "real comfort" is their safe return home.



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