Two Syrians have been charged in Lebanon for taking part in the kidnapping three years ago of nuns from the Syrian historic town of Maaloula, close to the Lebanese border, 60km north-east of Damascus.

Amer and Thaer Miskaf were described as militants of the Nusra Front, an Islamic jihadist group fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad, Lebanese sources said.

A Lebanese judge charged (18 July) the Syrians with the abduction of the 13 nuns; according to the Lebanese Daily Star, one of the two suspects “received a share of the $16 million that was paid to free the nuns.”

The nuns were freed in March 2014, three months on from their kidnapping, after negotiations reported to have been led by Qatar and Lebanon, in which the 13 were “exchanged for some 150 prisoners held by the Syrian government, including women and children.”