UN chief concerned over religious violence in Syria

United Nations, Dec 10: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern over the targeting of people based on their religion, community or ethnic affiliation in Syria, after a group of nuns went missing from the town of Maaloula.

Ban, in a statement released Monday, said he “remains deeply troubled by the targeting of places of worship and religious representatives in Syria’s conflict”, reported Xinhua.

Ban added that these concerns are exacerbated by the recent disappearance of 12 nuns from Saint Tecla Orthodox Convent in Maaloula, about 56 km from the Syrian capital of Damascus.

The nuns, reportedly went missing last week after insurgents captured the town, resurfaced in a video Friday, showing them in good health and denying they had been kidnapped.

Ban said he “joins in the appeals for their safety and well-being, and that of all people who may be detained against their will in Syria”.

“The United Nations rejects any targeting of people based on their religion, community or ethnic affiliation,” said the statement.

“Civilians throughout Syria are at risk and must be protected,” it added.

IANS