MANCHESTER, England (CNS) — A religious sister in Syria described how the members of one Christian family were blown to bits during a bombardment of the northern city of Aleppo.
Sister Annie Demerjian, an Armenian Catholic member of the Sisters of Jesus and Mary, described how shells fired by either Islamic State or Nusra Front rebels killed two adult sons and their mother.
“The force of the explosion flung one of the sons out of the house, leaving him dead, hanging on the power cables,” she told the United Kingdom branch of Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic charity serving persecuted Christians around the world.
“His mother and brother were blown to bits by the bombs,” she said in a May 18 press release issued by the charity. “Their relatives are still finding parts of the bodies among the rubble and burying them.”
The son blasted onto the power cables was identified only as Michel, 18, and the second son killed by the explosion was named as Annor, in his early 20s.
The family lived in a Christian area of Aleppo, the largest city in Syria that has been the focus of months of heavy fighting between the forces of President Bashar Assad and the Islamist factions opposed to him.
The intensity of the fighting has already caused many Christians to flee the city, Sister Annie said.
The Christian quarter of the city has “noticeably emptied out,” she said, with many residents grabbing whatever possessions they could carry and fleeing to the comparatively safer coastal regions or to predominantly Christian areas around Homs.
“Pray for Aleppo. People are fearful as never before,” said Sister Annie. “Thousands have already left the city, both Christian and Muslim. We are preparing for the worst.”
She added: “May God enlighten the hearts of those in power so that they can find a way to peace. Otherwise, I do not know how long the people can continue to endure it all.”