ICC Note: Father Hanna Jallouf and 20 other Christians were kidnapped by Jabhat al Nusra militants in Syria. The priest has reportedly been released and is currently under “house arrest” at the convent, his church stated. It is unclear what the fate of the others taken by the militants currently is. Christian leaders have been taken during the more than three year conflict, some have been killed, while the fate of others remains unknown.
10/09/2014 Syria (AFP) – A priest kidnapped by Al-Qaeda-linked rebels in northwestern Syria was released on Thursday, the Franciscan Order said, days after his abduction alongside 20 other Christians.
“Father Hanna Jallouf has been released this morning… he is under house arrest at the convent of Qunyeh,” the order said in a statement, without providing further details.
Rebels linked to Al-Nusra Front — Al-Qaeda’s Syria branch — abducted Jallouf along with 20 Christians on Sunday in the village of Qunyeh, near the Turkish border, the order said.
A local Syrian activist said Al-Nusra had been trying to take charge of some of the Franciscan properties in Qunyeh, prompting Jallouf to complain to a religious court late last week.
Al-Nusra rebels have seized control of several Christian and Muslim villages in the area during the course of Syria’s three-and-a-half-year civil war.