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Maronite Patriarch in Qatar raises fate of the two kidnapped Orthodox bishops

October 23, 2013: Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai is in Qatar since yesterday, on an official visit at the invitation of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al- Thani. He will raise the question of the two Orthodox bishops kidnapped in Syria last April with the Qatari authorities and ask for their cooperation. Qatar is one of the military sponsors of the rebel troops in opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"I hope - said the Patriarch - that the Qatari authorities will use all their influence to reveal what happened to the two bishops, together with that of three other priests who have been kidnapped and whose fate s unknown."

The head of Lebanese security , Gen. Abbas Ibrahim has also traveled to Syria to find a way to free the two bishops. The two bishops of Aleppo , Syrian Orthodox Msgr. Youhanna Ibrahim, and Greek - orthodox Bishops Boulos Yazigi, were kidnapped on April 22 near Kafr Dael , a northern city in rebel hands . Since then there has been complete silence about their whereabouts, and often conflicting reports emerge on their release or their death.

The same goes for the Italian Jesuit Paolo dall'Oglio, who disappeared towards the end of last July , while attempting to reconcile secular and Islamist rebel factions. Some rumors say that he is dead, and others, among rebels, that he is a "guest " of the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant", a group of radical Islamists linked to al Qaeda.

( Source: AsiaNews)


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