Discovered dead in a well in Sadad were the remains of six members of one family including Matanios El Sheikh, 85, his wife, Habsah, 75, their daughter, Njala, 45, and grandsons Ranim, aged 18, a first-year university student, and his 16-year-old brother Fadi, in class XI at school.
Reports state they were thrown down a well on October 26th along with the boys’ paternal grandmother, 90-year-old Mariam.
Their funerals, which took place Monday, November 4th, came as a community, whose town dates back to 2000BC, begins to grieve the loss of those being described as “martyrs” by Church leaders.
The atrocities took place during a week-long occupation of Sadad by the Al-Nusra Front and Daash, rebel forces who, according to Church leaders, held 1,500 families as “human shields” in a bid to stop Government troops retaking the village [more].In the midst of the ongoing war, the Nunciature of the Holy See to Syria in Damascus was struck by an explosive this morning at 6:30 a.m. local time:
The bomb was aimed at the third floor, where the sleeping quarters of the Nuncio Mgr Mario Zenari, his secretary Fr Giorgio, and the sisters working at the residence are located.
"Thank God no one was hit," Fr Giorgio told AsiaNews. The mortar round destroyed part of the roof, including the eaves of the building and part of the facade.
Archbishop Zenari is one of the few diplomats who never left his post in the past two years of civil war [more].The Vatican Information Service, when announcing the attack on the nunciature, noted that this is not an isolated attack on ecclesial properties:
In an interview with Vatican Radio the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Mario Zenari, explained that the repercussions were limited to minor material damage, partly because the mortar attack occurred at 6.35 this morning, before the employees enter to work. He added that this type of incident occurs on a regular basis in Syria; for instance, last Saturday the convent of the Franciscan Fathers in Aleppo was struck by two or three rockets which caused minor damage to the roof but fortunately caused no casualties. The same occurred in other parts of old Damascus last week, and rockets have fallen near to the nunciature on other occasions, causing residents, especially children, to flee [more].