ISIS kills 15 Christian hostages in Syria, beheads woman

Archimandrite says 350 held; mass execution feared

26 February, 19:12

    A church in Syria  vandalized by Isis fighters A church in Syria vandalized by Isis fighters

    (ANSAmed) - ROME -  The Islamic State (ISIS) has killed 15 of the Christians it took hostage in northeastern Syria earlier this week.

    The news was given by Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana to the Catholic organization Aid to the Church in Need on Thursday. ''Many of them,'' he said, ''were defending their villages and their families.'' One woman was beheaded in the village Tel Hormidz and two men were shot to death. There is no information at the moment on how the other 12 were killed. Youkhana added that the number of those known to have been taken hostage had risen to about 350. In addition to the hundreds previously reported, some 80 inhabitants from the Tel Jazira village, 21 from Tel Gouran, 5 from Tel Feytha and 3 from Qabir Shamiya have been taken. Almost all are being held in the Sunni Muslim village Um Al-Masamier.

    Another 51 families, ''with around five members each'', Youkhana said, have been taken hostage in Tel Shamiram, but it is not known where they are being held. ''They have probably been taken to the ISIS-controlled Mount Abdul Aziz region,'' Youkhana said. One source has said that a mass execution is being planned for Friday, February 27, in the mosque of Bab Alfaraj, a Sunni village in the area. There has been no confirmation of the news.

    No inhabitants are left in the 35 Assyrian Christian villages. Those who managed to escape did so towards Hasaka or Qamishli.

    ''There are 800 displaced families in Hasaka and 175 in Qamishli,'' Youkhana said. (ANSAmed).

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