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Catching Our Eye

Seleka releases Bossangoa Catholics

The Archbishop of Bossangoa and three priests were released within 24 hours of being kidnapped by Seleka rebels in the Northern town of the Central African Republic.

"I spoke to him and he told me he is well", said the Archbishop of Bangui, Dieudonné Nzapalainga, adding that they are now near the city of Batangafo, on the border with Chad. The Archbishop explained that the Bishop of Bossangoa, Monsignor Nestor Désiré Nongo Aziagbia, told him that they were stopped at a checkpoint by Seleka rebels and taken to a rebel base where they met with some leaders of the movement.

The group is being escorted by soldiers of the African MISCA mission to Bossangoa, the town in the violent northwest, where nearly 40,000 people – most of them Christians – have sought refuge since September.

Sources: World Watch Monitor; MISNA

Killing in Kessab

Further details have emerged of what’s been happening since the invasion of Kessab by Islamist rebels, which sent thousands of Syrians fleeing the predominantly Armenian Christian town.

According to a WWM source 23-year-old Kevork Jourian was killed by members of Syrian rebel groups as they were searching for guns among the Armenians who remained after the attack.

Jourian initially escaped the March 21 raid of Syria’s Northwestern city but, despite the obvious dangers, he decided to return to fetch his parents and grand-parents. He told his loved ones that he had to go back.

Our source also said, "People are very, very depressed and Aleppo, the largest city in Syria, is terrible. The Armenian quarter is under attack and people cannot escape the 'pounding' as there are snipers wherever they turn."

Sources: World Watch Monitor; ArmenPress

Boko Haram suspected in deadly attacks

The militant Boko Haram sect is suspected in weekend attacks on villages in Nigeria's beleagured northeast that left scores dead. News reports said the attackers, armed with military rifles, shoulder-launched grenades and firebombs set fire to the villages of Ngoshe, Kaigamari and Anchaka, in Borno state. The attackers fired on residents as they tried to flee. News reports of the death toll approached 100.

Borno state is a stronghold of Boko Haram, a five-year old insurgency that has killed thousands of Nigerians in its quest to drive out what it considers to be Western influence, and to impose an Islamic state. The weekend's attacks across Borno occurred in areas near the border with Cameroon, where concentrations of Christians continue to live and where deadly raids have been more frequent in recent months.

Boko Haram also is suspected in Monday's huge bomb blast in a bus station on the outskirts of the Nigerian capital, Abuja, that killed at least 71 people.

Sources: Vanguard; This Day; The Telegraph; The Star

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