Said a local source in the town of calf Syrian Homs and near the Lebanese border, gunmen Syrian and Lebanese kidnapped Monday 218 farmers and workers of this town Christianity before releasing all women, including about 40 people after mediations conducted by the elders, local.
“The insurgents have followed since yesterday kidnapped Christians on roads leading to the calf until the number of sons of the town abductees to 218 people from the farmers who were picking apples in their farms, to workers, including women and the elderly,” he said, adding that he was released from the women yesterday morning . He explained that the gunmen are holding hostages at a school official Jose town near the Lebanese border, and that the information stating that “the kidnappers would demand a ransom or special demands in return for the release of the hostages.”
It is noteworthy that the gunmen had surrounded about a month ago the town calf, which has a population of about 12 thousand Christians, and cut off her water and fuel oil, electricity, Syrian army intervened lifting the siege.
The agency confirmed “Fides” Vatican that the kidnappers in the calf near the Syrian-Lebanese border are farmers Melkite Catholics. It quoted local sources as saying that “a major arrest operation for 150 Christian citizen of Melkite Catholic, caused a great shock to the residents of the village of calf on the Lebanese border and the city short in Homs.” She added that it was a workers and peasants, youth, women, who were working in the fields, a few kilometers from the village, to reap the apple, which is a major source of livelihood for the local population.
The father of a kidnapped: “We heard bursts and we came to the place to see what was happening, I saw in many of the buses and trucks taking people away, leaving nothing in the fields only apples funds”. He pointed out that “This area has been for months under the control of armed gangs … In recent weeks, was not in our interest in the trees in the fields of insecurity, then thanks to the initiative of the Governor of Homs, conditions seemed to improve … We are a quiet village, close of the shrine of the Prophet Elijah who prayed to him, Christians and Muslims, we do not want only to live in peace with everyone. ”
Commenting on the incident, said Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Melkite Gregorios III Laham: “I ask God to help the poor and innocent”, directed an appeal to “all parties to respect civilians and save the lives of innocent people.”
She said, “Fides” Some Christian leaders are trying to contact local non-governmental organizations and international organizations for help in this tragic situation.
Later, the channel quoted “fields” TV correspondent on the Lebanese border – the kidnappers fired Syrian women hostages before releasing about 40 men after mediations.
Day, September 26