25,000 Christians Besieged By Muslim Rebels in Hasaka, Syria
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(AINA) -- A number of bishops from the al-Hasaka district in eastern Syria have put forward a plea for the survival of 25,000 Christians, including Syriac Orthodox, Syriac Catholics, Chaldeans and Armenians, in this city, within which a number of evacuees have sought refuge from neighboring areas, as reported by the Vatican's Fides news agency on Thursday.

According to the agency, the testimonies cited by the bishops indicate "a number of roadblocks" on the roads, set up by armed groups, especially militiamen from the al-Nasrah Front. Add to that, they said, gangs are deliberately conducting robberies, kidnappings and attacks even within the city.

The agency additionally quoted one of the priests from al-Hasaka saying, "That every day around 3pm a type of curfew is applied, since armed groups are roaming the streets."

He also stressed that, "kidnapping operations are being conducted, accompanied at times by requests for the payment of ransoms, and in recent days, two brothers from the Bishr family and two youths from the Afram family were murdered in the street, and Christian youths are being threatened and are intimidated by terrorist acts."

On their part, several humanitarian organizations have announced that, "It is impossible to deliver aid to al-Hasaka, because it is very dangerous and also the minimum security requirements are unavailable."

Translated from Arabic by AINA.

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