When the insurgents stormed Kessab last spring, forcing 2,500 Armenian Christians to flee, they posted pictures of themselves protecting ancient churches.

But new information has emerged from the residents of Kessab who told the British Telegraph newspaper this week that soon after the media spotlight faded the desecration of churches began.

“They took photographs to show they were looking after the churches, and then set them alight,” said Father Miron Avedissian, priest of the Armenian Apostolic church that was largely destroyed. “It all still happened in the first day.”