(JNS.org) Five Iraqi Christians, including two nuns and three orphaned children, were released this week after being abducted in the city of Mosul by Islamic terrorists in late June, according to the charity organization Middle East Concern.
The nuns and children went missing around the same time that jihadists from the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) terror group were shelling and attacking the Christian villages near and outside of Mosul, which forced more than 40,000 Christians to flee.
The nuns, Sister Miskintah and Sister Utoor, lived and worked in an orphanage that was attached to a Chaldean Monastery of Maskenta in Mosul. The three orphans were identified as Hala Salim, Sarah Khoshaba, and Aram Sabah.
According to Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako, the five hostages were released on July 14 without anyone paying ransom, and they were all in good health.
“It is widely assumed that they were held by militants from the extremist group ISIS that seized control of Mosul and surrounding areas in early June,” Middle East Concern said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Vatican’s Fides News Agency reported July 16 that ISIS jihadists had instructed Iraqi government workers not to hand out food and cooking rations to all remaining Christians, Kurds, and Shi’a Muslims in Mosul. Abandoned Christian houses are also being marked with the first letter of the Arabic word “Nazarat,” meaning Christian.