Naharnet

17 Assyrians Flee to Lebanon from Syria as Others Await Entry

Seventeen Assyrians fleeing the Islamic State extremist group were granted entry into Lebanon, reported the National News Agency on Tuesday.

It said that they entered the country through the Masnaa border-crossing on Monday night.

Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5) meanwhile said that 23 Assyrians were still waiting at the border at al-Masnaa for permission to enter Lebanon.

The names of refugees were included on a list handed by Assyrian Bishop Monseigneur Yatroun Coliana to General Security head Major General Abbas Ibhrahim.

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq had recently ordered security agencies to facilitate the entry of Assyrian refugees from Syria.

Last week, IS extremists launched a new offensive in Syria and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians, raising fears of their persecution in the country.

Before Syria's civil war erupted in 2011, there were 30,000 Assyrians in the country, among an estimated Christian population of about 1.2 million.

IS is accused of multiple abuses against minorities in the areas under its control in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

M.T.

H.K.

Source: Agence France Presse


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