Dozens attend funeral of ISIS-slain priest in northeast Syria
Dozens of mourners filled a church Tuesday (November 12th) for the funeral of an Armenian Catholic priest and his father killed by the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) in northeastern Syria.
Men, women dressed in black and children gathered to celebrate the lives of Joseph Hanna Ibrahim and his father in the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli.
Clerics led prayers in Armenian and Aramaic before congregation members lined up to say their farewells by coffins decorated with flowers and lit candles.
Ibrahim and his father were slain by gunfire on Monday on the road to the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, where they were to going to inspect a church restoration project, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Their killing came the same day as a triple bombing in a market and near a school in Qamishli killed six civilians, the Observatory said.
The France-based association L'Oeuvre d'Orient, which supports Christian minority communities in the region, said Ibrahim had worked on "reconstruction projects" as well as to support displaced people in eastern Syria.
It denounced his killing, along with that of his father, as a "terrorist attack" and also condemned the three blasts that rocked Qamishli, saying they took place "near churches".
Around a million Christians live in Syria, including in Qamishli where Kurdish forces and others loyal to the Syrian regime both ensure security.
Kurdish fighters led the US-backed battle against ISIS in Syria, expelling the group from the last scrap of territory it controlled in March.
But the group has continued to claim attacks in northeastern and eastern Syria.