Free at Last: 13 Nuns Freed From Syrian Kidnappers

syriaThirteen nuns and three maids kidnapped in late November from a Greek Orthodox monastery in Syria were freed Sunday, a pro-Syrian government news network and Lebanese state media reported.

The women were “less than a few hours” from arriving at the Syria-Lebanon border, senior Orthodox Bishop Lucas al-Khoury said on pro-government Ikhbariya television Sunday afternoon.

Al-Khoury, standing at the border to greet the group, said negotiations for their release took several months because the kidnappers “made false requests intended to stall the process.”

The Greek Orthodox figure, who often speaks out on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad’s government, added that the recent Syrian troop offensive on the opposition stronghold of Yabroud worked in the favor of the nuns’ release.

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The women were due to arrive in Beirut later Sunday, Lebanon’s National News Agency said, citing The Greek Orthodox Council.

In December, Syrian state news service SANA reported that armed terrorists took the nuns, implying that rebels fighting to oust al-Assad were behind the attack.

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