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ICC Note: Reports continue to emerge of Christians being attacked by Islamic militants in the village of Maaloula, Syria. The ancient city, well known for its religious heritage and sites, came under attack following an assault on a roadblock manned by government forces. The city’s many Christian residents have been forced to flee or else face a brutal death at the hands of radical groups.
9/09/2013 Syria (Asia News) – The bodies of Christians killed lie abandoned by the side of roads; houses and churches have been destroyed and plundered,” this is Maaloula today, a village about 60 kilometres north of Damascus that was recently invaded by Islamist insurgents.
The town, the cradle of the Syrian Christian tradition and a unique place in the world where Aramaic is still spoken, is now a ghost town.
Sources, anonymous for security reasons, told AsiaNews that “the Islamist insurgents are breaking into village homes. Yesterday they killed three people and took six young Greek-Catholics Christians prisoners. Bodies have been left in the streets as a warning to the population. Many families are locked in their homes and cannot even escape. Nobody knows their conditions.”
The situation is critical for those who were able to leave the village. “Several hundred people,” sources said, “managed to save themselves, but had to leave all their belongings. A new ordeal is starting for them.”
In the capital, parishes gave hospitality to fleeing families, but the food will not last for long.
“These people are traumatised,” sources told AsiaNews. “Entire families have left their entire lives in Maaloula. They do not need only material goods such as food, water, a bed to rest but also spiritual support, especially the elderly, women and children. ”
The rebels of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) invaded the village last Thursday, defeating government forces with the support of al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Brigades.

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