DAMASCUS, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Syria's armed rebels fired multiple mortar shells on a church in Syria's southern province of Daraa, killing 12 people and injuring many others, the pro- government al-Ekhbarieh TV reported.
The shells landed at the old Church in Daraa while the Church volunteers were distributing charity aid to locals, the report said.
The incident came as the Syrian Christians, who make up 10 percent in the country's Sunni-majority population, have felt the pain of the protracted crisis, as their population has been subject to attacks by the radical rebels. The latest incident took place earlier this month, when radical jihadists fully controlled Syria's Christian town of Maaloula, north of the capital Damascus.
Gregory III Laham, Patriarch of the Church of Antioch and all East, told Xinhua in an interview that Syria's long-term crisis has displaced more than 450,000 Christian Syrians and killed more than a thousand of them.
Earlier in the day, five people were killed in a mortar attack against the Hamadanyeh district of the northern province of Aleppo, according to the mainstream media.