(news.va)(Sryia) Yesterday the 4 women who were part of the group of about twenty hostages kidnapped by an armed gang along with Father Hanna Jallouf, parish priest of the Syrian village of Knayeh, in the night between Sunday 5 and Monday 6 October were released. This was reported to Fides Agency by Bishop Georges Abou Khazen OFM, Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo for the Catholics of the Latin rite.
“The kidnappers – explains Bishop Abou Khazen – did not ask the women who were released any questions”. Local sources confirm that the kidnappers were armed. So far, the authors of the kidnapping have not sent any messages to the hostages’ relatives and friends. But the high number of abductees suggests that we are not dealing with common criminals.
The Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land attributes the seizure to a collective brigade of Jabhat al-Nusra, the jihadist faction that controls the area. The place where the hostages are held is a few kilometers from the village of Knayeh.
Bishop Georges Abou Khazen reports to Fides the expressions of affection that come from all over Syria towards the Catholic community of Knayeh, where also Sister Patrizia Guarino, of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary works. “Sister Patrizia – says Bishop Abou Khazen – is venerated by all. She is the village nurse, and everyone sees her as a spiritual guide, who helps to heal not only diseases, but also the suffering of the soul”.