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Syrian archbishop notes tensions between Kurds, Christians

Attacks reported on Christian-owned restaurants in Qamishli

Published: January 14, 2016 04:49 AM GMT

Updated: January 14, 2016 04:51 AM GMT

Syrian archbishop notes tensions between Kurds, Christians

Tensions between Kurds and Christians have increased in the Syrian region of northeastern Jiazira, where large areas of land are controlled by the group that calls themselves the Islamic State.

On Dec. 20, two Christian-owned restaurants in Qamishli were attacked.

"In those two terrorist acts, 13 Christians and six Muslims died. No one knows who is behind this attack, but it is believed that the Kurds are behind them," Syrian Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo of Hassake-Nisibis told Fides, information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies.

After the attack, self-defense groups organized by Christians put up roadblocks to protect Christian-inhabited areas.

Despite the roadblocks, the area was attacked on Jan. 11 by Kurdish militias, killing a Syrian Orthodox militiaman and wounding six Kurdish soldiers, Archbishop Hindo said.

"Behind these tensions is also the strategy of the Kurds, who seek to acquire a position of strength with a view to claiming independence,” the archbishop told Fides.

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