ALEPPO, Syria—Syrian rebels abducted two Syrian-Armenian children on the border of Syria and Turkey on July 28, as a bus carrying three Armenian families, comprised of seven women and two children, was forced to stop at the border, reported the Aleppo-based Gandzasar newspaper.
The rebels kidnapped the 12- and 14-year-old children and set the women free. According to sources close to the Gandzasar newspaper, the women were transported to the Turkish border.
On July 30, it was announced that the children had been released.
On July 25, Aleppo resident Marita Amirkhanian was found dead in her apartment. The elderly woman was reportedly injured by sniper fire while on her balcony. Relatives discovered her body two days later when they went to her apartment to check up on her.
The situation in Aleppo has been deteriorating with a blockade of access routes by the rebels, making basic goods scarce. Armenians in Aleppo have also endured grave losses. A bus carrying passengers from Aleppo to Beirut was attacked a week earlier, resulting in the death of 1 woman and 17 injured. In the New Village in Aleppo, a child was killed by sniper fire. On July 26, four Armenians were taken hostage after rebels attacked a bus en route from Aleppo to Yerevan.
The fate of the four kidnapped Armenians–Karekin Hatsakourtsian, Garo Boboghlian, Nareg Varjabedian, and Sako Asatourian, who are between the ages of 25 and 30–remains unclear.
“Armed clashes continue in Aleppo with large-scale bombings on residential areas. Sniper attacks continue on random passers-by,” Gandzasar correspondent Zarmig Boghikian reported.
She added that the Syrian-Armenian emergency relief body is continuing its activities, with a focus on the injured in Aleppo, and is attending to the needs of residents in Damscus, Latakia, Kessab, and Jezire.