Mar.10 - A group of Greek Orthodox nuns kidnapped by rebels in the Syrian Christian town of Maaloula in December have been released. Sarah Toms reports.
Tensions are high at Jdaydet Yabous, the border crossing of Lebanon and Syria. Journalists and religious clerics gather here waiting for a group of nuns to pass through after being held by Syrian rebels since December. SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) NUN, AGNESS MARIAM AL-SALIB, SAYING: "I do not know but let us know where they are now. Let us wait and see." Around 13 nuns and three other workers from their convent have been freed as part of a prisoner exchange. They're being held in a hall nearby, while they wait for their freedom. They've been travelling across Syria in a convoy for nine-hours before arriving early in the morning. They were kidnapped in December by Syrian rebels, when they over-ran the Christian town of Maaloula. These 13 nuns and their three helpers were said to have been freed as part of a prisoner exchange.. Rights groups say kidnappings by both rebel groups and government forces have become increasingly common. The capture of the nuns had raised fears that Christians were becoming a target for the rebels.