Priest beheaded by Syrian jihadists
Catholic priest beheaded in Syria by Al-Qaeda-Linked Rebels and Men and Children Take Pictures and Cheer
Syrian Catholic priest Francois Murad killed last weekend by jihadi fighters was beheaded, according to a report by Catholic Online which is linking to video purportedly showing the brutal murder.
Posted by Jill Fallon at June 30, 2013 10:52 PM
As TheBlaze reported last week, Murad, 49, was setting up a monastery in Gassanieh, northern Syria. Last Sunday, on the Christian leader’s Sabbath, extremist militants trying to topple President Bashar Assad breached the monastery and grabbed Murad.
While earlier reports suggested Murad may have been shot to death, Catholic Online reported Saturday: “The Vatican is confirming the death by beheading of Franciscan Father, Francois Murad, who was martyred by Syrian jihadists on June 23.”
In video posted by Live Leak purporting to show the execution, dozens of men and boys are seen cheering on as three men are seated on the ground awaiting their grisly fate.
The men are methodically beheaded one at a time by men holding what appears to be a simple kitchen knife after which the heads are placed on top of the bodies.
According to Catholic Online, the first victim was Murad.
A frenzy ensues, with dozens drawing out their smartphones to capture the bloody scene, as a chorus of Allahu Akbar (“Allah is the greatest”) are sung with jihadi rapture. Several observers are seen moving within inches of the bodies in an effort to capture close-up photos.
Vatican Radio reports that Gassanieh, a village with a majority Christian population, had been under attack by Islamist fighters for the past few weeks, forcing most residents to flee for safety.
It quotes Custos of the Holy Land, Franciscan Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa who says, “Unfortunately Syria has now become a battleground not only between Syrian forces, but also between Arab countries and the international community. And those paying the price are the poor, the young and the Christians. That the international community must put a stop to all this”.