March 10 - A church service in Damascus celebrates release of captive nuns. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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Celebrations in the Holy Cross Church in Damascus as captive nuns return.
Al Qaeda fighters held them for more than three months. They were freed as part of a prisoner swap for women held by President Bashar al-Assad's government. Activists say the government released 15 women prisoners.
Now a moment of joy...
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN WOMAN, RAFQA LAQTINEH, SAYING:
"It was the biggest joy and victory to our country and all Syrian people."
The 13 nuns went missing in December after Islamist fighters took the ancient quarter of a Christian town of north of Damascus.
Another woman says Syria will always be home.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN WOMAN, WASSILAH, SAYING:
"We are rooted here in Syria. We love our country and we will stay here."
After three years of war -- now a rare moment of relief and joy in a country where tens of thousands have died, and millions have been displaced.
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