Syrian opposition urges release of priest

2013-08-03 14:05
A soldier loyal to the regime forces stands in front of the damaged Khaled bin Walid mosque in the district of al-Khalidiyah in the central Syrian city of Homs. (File, AFP)

A soldier loyal to the regime forces stands in front of the damaged Khaled bin Walid mosque in the district of al-Khalidiyah in the central Syrian city of Homs. (File, AFP)

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Beirut - Syria's main opposition bloc is urging the release of a Catholic priest who disappeared while visiting a rebel-held city in the country's northeast.

In a statement on Saturday, the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition has urged any party involved Paolo Dall'Oglio's disappearance to "immediately come forward and release him".

Dall'Oglio, an Italian Jesuit priest, went missing on Monday in the city of Raqqa. He is a critic of the Damascus regime and was expelled last year from Syria, where he had lived for 30 years.

Raqqa in February became the first city to have fallen entirely under opposition control. Islamic militants with links to al-Qaeda are at odds there with more moderate rebel groups.

Activists said Dall'Oglio went to Raqqa to meet with al-Qaeda-linked militants.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  syria  |  syria protests  |  syria crisis

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