DAMASCUS — Syria's state-run news agency says that Greek Orthodox nuns who were freed Monday after being held hostage for months by al-Qaida linked Syrian rebels have arrived in Damascus.
An official Lebanese security convoy carrying a group of released nuns arrives at the Lebanese border crossing point of Masnaa, eastern Bekaa valley, Lebanon, early Monday March 10, 2014. Syrian rebels released about a dozen Greek Orthodox nuns who had been held since December, Lebanon's official news agency reported Monday. The release of the nuns and their helpers, 16 women in all, is a rare successful prisoner-exchange deal between Syrian government authorities and the rebels seeking to overthrow the rule of President Bashar Assad. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
The agency said that the 13 nuns reached the predominantly Christian neighborhood of Qassaa in the Syrian capital to a popular welcome by residents.
The nuns were released early Monday in a rare deal between the Syrian government and rebels of the Nusra Front. About 150 imprisoned Syrian women will be released in exchange for the nuns' freedom.
The nuns, along with 3 other women, were taken from their convent in the Christian-dominated town of Maaloula during clashes in December.
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