|SANA/Via EPA – A undated handout picture shows a church in the Maaloula village, northeast of Damascus, Syria.
Fighters from Free Syrian Army units briefly gained control of ancient Christian Maaloula village,
accounting to reports.
The violence ravaging the rest of Syria has finally caught up with Maaloula, renowned as the oldest Christian community in the world — and the last in which the same version of Aramaic that prevailed 2,000 years ago is the native tongue.
Only a couple of dozen nuns remained, cowering in fear as warplanes screeched overhead, shells exploded and al-Qaeda-linked fighters overran their convent, turning them into witnesses to what may be one of the more extraordinary encounters of the Syrian war.