Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Two Kidnapped Orthodox Bishops Freed in Syria; Nabbed While on Humanitarian Work In Aleppo

Two Syrian bishops -- who were kidnapped by gunmen yesterday while carrying out humanitarian work in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo -- have been released, the Al Jazeera website reports today (April 23, 2013).

Greek Orthodox Bishop Tony Yazigi said the kidnapped bishops -- Bishop Boulos Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church and Bishop John Ibrahim of the Assyrian Orthodox Church -- were released today and arrived safely in the city of Aleppo.

It was not immediately clear who kidnapped the men. Syrian state media reported that the two bishops were seized by rebels while they were on a humanitarian mission, and their driver was killed.

But the opposition accused the regime of being behind the abduction, which was condemned by Pope Francis and the Russian Orthodox Church. The kidnapping was a byproduct of the two-year civil war between rebels and Syrians loyal to President Assad. More than 70,000 Syrians have been killed since the conflict began in March 2011.

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