Qamishli, Syria, Nov 12, 2019 / 12:59 pm
The Islamic State (ISIS) militant group on Monday claimed responsibility for the shooting of an Armenian Catholic priest and his father in northeastern Syria.
Father Hovsep Bedoyan was the head of the Armenian Catholic community in the the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli, near the border with Turkey.
He and his father, Abraham Bedoyan, were traveling south to the province of Deir Al-Zor when unidentified gunmen ambushed their vehicle Nov. 11, Vatican News reported.
Fati Sano, a deacon from the region, was also in the car, and was badly wounded and reported to be in critical condition.
The priest and his father were traveling to Deir ez-Zor to inspect an Armenian Catholic Church which had suffered damage in the Syrian civil war, according to International Christian Concern (ICC).
Pope Francis said Tuesday he was praying for the priest, his father and his relatives. Father Bedoyan, a married priest, reportedly is survived by a wife and children.
Dozens of mourners attended the funeral today in Qamishli for the victims.
The area that the victims were traveling from is largely controlled by Kurdish forces, against whom Turkey launched an incursion last month after the US decision to move troops from the area.