Damascus: Armed rebels have wreaked havoc on an archeological village in Syria`s northern province of Aleppo, the pro-government al-Watan daily said Monday.
Gunmen attacked the archeological Brad village, some 40 km north of Aleppo. The village, inhabited by 5,000 Kurds and annually visited by Christian pilgrims, combines a tomb and church of Saint Maroun, the patron saint of the Maronites, according to the report.
Quoting local villagers, al-Watan said the Mar Maroun Church was vandalized and its windows were smashed.
The incident comes after a rare visit by Lebanon`s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai to Syria on Saturday.
On Sunday, al-Rai said during the enthronement of Greek Orthodox leader, John al-Yaziji, that Syria is paining from "futile wars," stressing that everything that is befalling the country "doesn`t equal one innocent drop of Syria`s blood."
The Lebanese hierarch`s visit came amid reports of harassment against Christians in rebel-held areas in Syria by the opposition fighters, whose ranks have been overwhelmed with Islamist radicals.