UN chief concerned over targeting of religious people in Syria
UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Monday expressed concerns over the targeting of religious people in Syria's conflict, after a group of nuns went missing from the Christian town of Maaloula in Syria.
Ban said in a statement he "remains deeply troubled by the targeting of places of worship and religious representatives in Syria's conflict," adding that these concerns are exacerbated by the recent missing of 12 nuns from Saint Tecla Orthodox Convent in Maaloula, a village 56 km to northeast of the Syrian capital Damascus.
The nuns, reportedly vanishing last week after insurgents captured Maaloula, resurfaced on Friday in a video showing them in good health and denying they had been kidnapped.
Ban said that he "joins in the appeals for their safety and well-being, and that of all persons who may be detained against their will in Syria."
"The United Nations rejects any targeting of persons based on their religion, community or ethnic affiliation," said the statement, adding that "civilians throughout Syria are at risk and must be protected."