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(Reuters) - A Syrian rebel group calling itself "Free Qalamoun" has claimed the kidnapping of 12 nuns and said it wants to trade them for a thousand female detainees held by the government, a pan-Arab newspaper reported on Friday.
Rebel spokesman Mohannad Abu al-Fidaa told Asharq al-Awsat that the nuns were safe but "will not be released until several demands have been implemented, most importantly, the release of 1,000 Syrian women held in regime prisons".
Reuters could not independently confirm the report.
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Latest Video Showing The "13" Nuns Safe And Well In A Villa Somewhere In Qalamoun Area, After Free Syrian Army And Rebels Moved Them Out Of Maaloula For Their Safety,
Opposition fighters in Syria have taken 12 nuns from a predominantly Christian village near Damascus and moved them to a rebel-held town, the mother superior of a Syrian convent said Tuesday.
BEIRUT – Syrian troops launched an attack Monday on hills overlooking a Christian-majority village near the capital Damascus, two days after rebel forces captured the ancient community, an activist group said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fighters from the Al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra or Nusra Front and the Qalamon Liberation Front still control Maaloula, an ancient village that is home to two of the oldest surviving monasteries in Syria. Rebels captured the village on Saturday.