Country: Syria

According to the news, The Armenian government has condemned the murders of two Armenians, including a priest, on Monday in Syria’s Der-El-Zor province. Father Hovsep Bedoyan, the parish priest for the Armenian Catholic community in the northern Syrian city of Qamishli on the Turkish border, and his father Apraham Bedoyan have died.

According to the deacon from the nearby town of Al-Hasakeh, who survived with minor injuries, the car was ambushed at a checkpoint to Deir ez-Zor, by unidentified gunmen and opened fire on their car before the assailants fled on their motorcycles. The elder Bedoyan died instantly, while his son succumbed to his wounds during transit to a nearby hospital. 

The pair had been traveling with the deacon to the city of Der-El-Zor to inspect the reconstruction efforts of an Armenian Catholic church. 

These attacks mark the first targeted assassinations of Christian priests since the 2014 murder of Father Frans van der Lugt—a Dutch Jesuit—by the Al-Nusra Front terrorist group. Another Armenian Catholic priest, Father Michel Kayyal, has been missing since his abduction in 2013.