Around a dozen nuns and several workers from the same convent have been released after being held for more than three months by rebels in Syria.
The women were set free at the Lebanese border as part of a swap in which the Syrian government has agreed to release 138 women being held in Syrian jails.
The nuns were seized from their convent in the Christian village of Maaloula when it was overrun by rebels including members of the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.
They had been working in the convent’s orphanage at the time.
Although Syria’s Christians have tried to stay on the sidelines of the country’s three year-old-conflict their capture confirmed fears among the minority community that they had become targets for extremists within the rebels.
Get a different perspective