August 21, 2014
BEIRUT (AP) - Lebanon's official news agency says Syrian rebels have released a group of about a dozen Greek Orthodox nuns who have been held since December.
The NNA agency reported early Monday that a convoy transporting the freed nuns was heading to the town of Jdeidet Yabous on the Syrian-Lebanon border.
Syrian rebels, including members of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, seized the nuns from the Mar Takla convent when fighters overran the Christian village of Maaloula, north of Damascus, in December.
The nuns, who are believed to be mostly Syrian and Lebanese, worked in the convent's orphanage. Syrian officials said at least 12 nuns were captured.
Their seizure raised fears in the minority Christian community that they were being targeted by extremists among the fighters seeking to oust President Bashar Assad.
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