Mortar Shells Strike Predominantly Christian Areas in Syria

Local Clergy Say Civilian Population Paying The Price For Attacks

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Violence against predominantly Christian areas continues in Syria; news came Monday of mortar shells striking a Christian school.

According to Fides News Agency, St. John Damascene Primary Christian School, located in the Al-Qassaa district of Damascus, was hit yesterday, leaving five children dead and wounding 27 others.

This recent mortar strike follows another rocket attack in Bab Touma, a predominantly Christian suburb of Damascus, which wounded five students. The suburb of Bob Touma has been the target of such attacks where rockets struck two churches in the area.

Fides also reported that the Apostolic Nunciature was hit by a rocket, while on Sunday, a mortar shell killed a Christian man along with his four children.

For several days, armed rebels surrounding the capital have launched attacks against the regime of Syrian President Bashir Al-Assad. Local clergy have called for an end to the violence, saying that in the end, civilians are the ones who are paying the price.

Fr. Gabriel Dawood, a Syrian Orthodox priest from the Cathedral of St. George in Damascus, pleaded for an end to the bloodshed. “In our churches we continue to hope and to light candles, praying for all the faithful killed, and for those at risk, especially for the Christian villages threatened by armed gangs.»

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