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Syrian nuns moved to rebel-held town

Maaloula is near the war-torn capital city of Damascus (CNS)

Opposition fighters in Syria have taken 12 Orthodox nuns from a village near Damascus and moved them to a rebel-held town, the mother-superior of a Syrian convent confirmed on Tuesday.

Mother superior, Febronia Nabhan of Saidnaya said that the 12 nuns, orginally reported to be five, were taken from the predominantly Christian village of Maaloula and moved to the nearby town of Yabroud.

The Vatican ambassador to Syria said it was not certain whether the nuns had been kidnapped or evacuated for their safety.

Nabhan told the Associated Press that the Maaloula convent’s mother superior, Pelagia Sayaf, called her later that day and said they were all “fine and safe.”

Syrian rebels captured large parts of Maaloula, 40 miles northeast of the capital, on Monday after three days of fighting.