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Mother superior at Syrian convent says rebels abduct 12 nuns

The mother superior of a Syrian convent says 12 nuns have been abducted by opposition fighters and taken to a rebel-held town.

Febronia Nabhan, Mother Superior at Saidnaya Convent, said Tuesday that the nuns and three other women were taken the day before from another convent in the predominantly Christian village of Maaloula to the nearby town of Yabroud.

Syrian rebels captured large parts of Maaloula, some 60 kilometers (40 miles) northeast of the capital, on Monday after three days of fighting.

Nabhan told The Associated Press that the Maaloula convent's mother superior, Pelagia Sayaf, called her later that day and said they were all "fine and safe."

The state news agency SANA had reported Monday that six nuns, including Sayaf, were trapped in a convent in Maaloula.