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ICC Note: Reports have emerged from the recently liberated town of al-Qaryatain showing that some 21 Christians have been murdered. al-Qaryatain was captured by IS last August, trapping approximately 300 Syrian Christians within. According to Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II, these believers were killed for breaking Islamic Law and in attempted escapes. Three women are among those reported dead while another five still remain missing. The town was retaken early this week by Russian backed Syrian Forces.

04/10/2016 Washington D.C. (BBC) Reports are emerging of the killing of Syrian Christians by Islamic State militants in the town of al-Qaryatain.

The town was retaken by Russian-backed Syrian forces and their allies earlier in the week.

Some 21 Christians were murdered when almost 300 Christians remained in the city after IS captured it last August, said the head of the Syrian Orthodox Church.

They included three women, Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II told the BBC.

He said some died whilst trying to escape while the others were killed for breaking the terms of their “dhimmi contracts”, which require them to submit to the rule of Islam.

Five more Christians are still missing, believed dead. Negotiations and the payment of ransoms have seen the remainder of the group re-join their families.

The patriarch said warnings had come that Islamic State planned to sell Christian girls into slavery.

But despite the murders, he said restoring harmony among faiths remained his goal.

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