The head of the Sednaya monastery has told AFP nuns from nearby Mar Techla convent in Maloula are in a safe place after they were taken by armed men.
Febronia Nabhan said in a telephone interview that she had spoken to the Mother Superior of Mar Techla, Pelagia Sayyaf Monday morning and she “confirmed that the twelve nuns and the three women working with them are living in a comfortable atmosphere in a house in the town of Yabroud and no one disturbs them." According to AFP.
Vatican envoy in Damascus Mario Zenari said that nuns "were forced by an armed group to leave the monastery,” adding that they were headed to Yabroud, a town controlled by opposition fighters, 20 km north of Maloula.
"I think the nuns are in Yabrood,” Zenari said.
He said the nuns were the only people residing in the monastery and that the orphanage was empty of children.
“The orphans had been evacuated a long time ago because the situation was very bad", Zenari said.
“Currently there is a fierce battle in Maloula and it is difficult to get accurate information. All possibilities are open. We do not know the reasons that had forced the nuns to leave, and what was the purpose.”
Maloula, which is known for its ancient Christian monuments and caves carved into the rock, had seen intense battles in September when opposition fighters entered the town, displacing most of the population.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer