Jihad spokesman Mohannad Abu al-Fidaa said that the nuns "will not be released until several demands have been implemented."
The Storming Of Monastery Near Damascus And Kidnapping Of Its Nuns (thanks to MEMRI)
Earlier this week, reports emerged that a group of a dozen nuns from the historic Christian town of Ma'loula near Damascus were kidnapped by opposition forces. The nuns, according to one report, were held captive by radical opposition groups, believed to be associated with Al-Qaeda, after the latter stormed the monastery where the nuns were located.
According to the same report, nuns from the St. Taqla monastery in the town of Ma'loula, north of Damascus, including the monastery's head nun, sister Bilajia Sayyaf, were held captive by opposition forces. The latter were accused of targeting churches in the city, including an orphanage that belonged to St. Taqla. The report added that the Vatican confirmed that 12 Christian Orthodox nuns of Syrian and Lebanese background were forced out of the St. Taqla monastery, located in the middle of the historic city, and that "jihadis" might have transferred the nuns to a different location north of the city.