A priest and a number of Christians have been kidnapped near Syria’s border with Turkey.
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem says that Franciscan Father Hanna Jallouf was abducted in the Christian village of Knayeh in Idlib province by brigades linked to the Islamist Nusra Front – the local branch of al Qaeda.
Since the kidnapping on Sunday night there has been no news. Some 20 Christians are believed to have been taken.
Several nuns are said to have taken refuge with local people.
The Latin Patriarchate said that members of the Franciscan order had been present in the village for more than a century.
Islamist fighters have targeted Christians, members of the Yazidi sect and Shi’ite Muslims in a campaign in Syria and neighbouring Iraq that has killed thousands and forced almost 2 million Iraqis to flee their homes.