By BosNewsLife Middle East Service
DAMASCUS/LONDON/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife)– The Islamic State group, known for beheading Christian believers, has kidnapped at least 90 people from Assyrian Christian villages in northeastern Syria, well-informed sources said Tuesday, February 24.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the abductions took place Tuesday, February 24, after dawn raids in villages inhabited by the ancient Christian minority near the town of Tel Hmar, a mainly Assyrian town.
Tuesday’s kidnappings focused on the western countryside around Hasaka city, which is mainly held by the Kurds. The attack came amid a push by Syrian Kurds in northeastern Syria near the Iraqi border that reportedly increased losses for the militant group in Syria.
The latest abuctions by the Islamic State group were expected to increase concern among Christians in the area: The group recently beheaded 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt after kidnapping them in Libya.
In a controversial statement Egypt’s ambassador to Hungary suggested that the Coptic Christians were not killed for their faith in Christ.
Mahmoud Elmaghraby told Hungary’s national news agency MTI that the attacks were “not persecution based on a religion” but a “terrorist attack directed at the Egyptian people.”
BosNewsLife reported earlier however that all 21 Egyptian Christians beheaded by the Islamic State militants were killed after they refused to abandon their faith in Jesus Christ.
In video footage Coptic Christians were seen saying their last prayers. As the blade came to their neck they all cried in unison “Ya Rabbi Yasou’” or ‘O My Lord Jesus’, according to a video and Christian experts familiar with the situation.
The caption by Islamic State noted that “these insisted to remain in unbelief” and embrace Islam. (With reporting by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos in Budapest).
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