Monday, March 10, 2014
Jdeidet Yabus (Syria) (AFP) - A group of nuns kidnapped by rebels in the Syrian town of Maalula in December were released early Monday thanks to Lebanese-Qatari mediation and handed to the Syrian authorities. A monitoring group said the release was secured in exchange for some 150 women prisoners who were being held in Syria's regime jails. The 13 nuns and three maids were kidnapped from the famed Christian hamlet of Maalula and taken to the nearby Syrian rebel town of Yabrud, where they were held by Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front. Their release comes amid fierce fighting around Yabrud near the Lebanese border, months into a campaign by the army -- backed by Lebanon's Hezbollah -- aimed at crushing rebel positions there.
Americans are boarding public buses, trains and subways in greater numbers than any time since the suburbs began booming, according to new ridership numbers.
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