Two Chaldean nuns and three young children—two girls and a boy—who were seized on June 28 in Mosul were released Monday afternoon. Their captors were linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Sources in the Chaldean Patriarchate of Baghdad said that the five captives left Mosul, where they were being held, and returned to Dohuk in Iraqi Kurdistan.
"Sister Atur, Sister Miskinta and the three children are doing well," the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Louis Raphael I Sako, told Fides Agency, "and their return to freedom is a sign of hope for all that comforts souls in this difficult period."
Archbishop Sako told Fides that the nuns and the children were kept in a house, given food and "were not treated badly."
"They prayed a lot. They recited lauds, vespers and the rosary for their own liberation and for peace in Iraq," he said. "We also found out that during the conversations with those who had kidnapped them, the nuns answered with serenity and courage on all the issues raised, giving reason for their hope."
The Patriarch said no ransom was paid for their release, though the captors took their car and ransacked the home for orphans and abandoned children the sisters help run in Mosul, near the Chaldean Archbishopric. The nuns belonged to the Congregation of the Daughters of the Immaculate Mary.
Due to the offensive of the Sunni insurgents led by Islamist militants of ISIL, which began on June 9, the nuns and all the guests had left the city and had found refuge in the city of Mosul Dohuk.