Syria

Nuns Missing in Syria Resurface in Video

Had left with rebels and are safe with a Christian family

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Twelve nuns who vanished recently from the ancient Aramaic-speaking Syrian town of Maaloula resurfaced on Friday in a video, saying that they had left with rebels to escape shelling in the area and were safe with a Christian family in a nearby rebel-held town.

The fate of the nuns has become the latest mysterious and polarizing incident in the war, with the government accusing Islamist insurgents of kidnapping them to target Christians, rebels saying they are protected guests, and even Pope Francis calling for their swift return.

What no one disputes is that the nuns left Maaloula on Tuesday with insurgents who had just re-entered the town, which has been contested over the past several months between rebels and government forces. Until then, the nuns had been practically the only civilians left in the town, huddled in their convent, Mar Takla, retreating to rooms built deep into cliffs when shelling broke out.