Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have abducted scores of people, including several Christian families, after seizing a strategically located town in the central Syrian province of Homs, an activist group has said. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Friday that at least 230 people had been kidnapped, including 60 Christians, some of whom were taken from a church in Qaryatain, which was captured overnight after heavy fighting with the Syrian army.
Among those seized were 45 women and 19 children, including 11 families, some of whom were on a militants’ wanted list, said the monitor that tracks the war’s violence through an extensive network of sources on the ground. There were also hundreds of residents, Muslims and Christians, whose families have lost touch with them since the militants captured the area, according to Abdulrahman. Qaryatain is near a road linking the ancient city of Palmyra to the Qalamoun mountains, along the border with Lebanon.