7 Aug 2015

IS abducts Syrian Christian families

11:25 pm on 7 August 2015

Islamic State militants have abducted dozens of Christian families after seizing a strategically located town in the central Syrian province of Homs.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 230 people were kidnapped, including dozens of Christians.

Some were taken from a church in Qaryatain, a town captured overnight after heavy fighting with the Syrian army.

Qaryatain is near a road linking the ancient city of Palmyra to the Qalamoun mountains, along the border with Lebanon.

Last February, the hardline jihadists abducted at least 250 Assyrian Christians, many of whom were children and women, during raids on villages in northeastern Syria.

The fate of many of these civilians is unclear, as is that of priests who went missing and are believed to be held by the militants, according to Christian groups.

-Reuters

An image from an Islamic State video released in March 2014 shows fighters in the Syrian city of Homs.

An image from an Islamic State video shows fighters entering Homs in 2014. Photo: AFP PHOTO / HO / AL-FURQAN MEDIA

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