World Bulletin/News Desk
A French-Syrian priest, kidnapped last weekend in Syria, was released on Thursday.
However, the fate of twenty Christian villagers, who were kidnapped with him, remains uncertain.
Father Hanna Jallouf, 62, of the monastery of Qounya village, located in northwest Syria, near the Turkish border, was kidnapped by the Al-Nusra Front militant group on Sunday night, according to the Franciscan order.
The militant group also kidnapped 20 Christians from the same village at the same time.
The Al-Nusra Front and other rebel groups are fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in the region around the village.
The reason for the kidnapping of the priest and the villagers is still not known, according to a statement on the website of the Franciscan Order. There is speculation that taking over a part of the olive harvest in the village may be behind the kidnappings.
According to the Order, about 1,500 Christians used to live in Qounya before the start of Syrian conflict three years ago. Today, there are only a few hundred, mainly elderly people living on subsistence farming.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Ekim 2014, 22:41