Syria: Christian village attacked by rebels

St Thekla's Monastery, Maloula (Wiki)

St Thekla's Monastery, Maloula (Wiki)

Reports are coming in of a violent attack on a Christian village in the mountains about 64 kilometres (40 miles) north of Damascus.

In the ancient village of Maaloula, the largely Christian community, still speak Aramaic - the language of Jesus. Yesterday (Wednesday) there was a major confrontation between Syrian soldiers and anti-government fighters assisted by the Al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra. 

The number of casualties is not yet known. More than 80 frightened villagers have taken shelter in a convent that is home to 13 nuns and 27 orphans. A nun said that rebels had based themselves in a hotel and caves overlooking the village and were shelling the community below.

For more information on Maloula see:'loula

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