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Syrian prelates remain in captivity; news of release was inaccurate

Catholic World News - April 24, 2013

Contrary to early reports, two Orthodox bishops who were kidnapped in Syria on April 22 have not been released.

"Archbishop Ibrahim and Metropolitan Boulos al-Yaziji until last night were still in the hands of their kidnappers. Reports of their release yesterday afternoon were false," Melkite Catholic Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo told the AsiaNews service.

The Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch confirmed to the Fides news service that Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim of Aleppo and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Paul Yazigi, also of Aleppo, had not been released by their kidnappers.

At his regular weekly public audience on April 24, Pope Francis acknowledged the “conflicting news” about the kidnapped prelates’ status, and said that their abduction was “a further sign of the tragic situation that the beloved Syrian nation has been undergoing, where violence and weapons continue to sow death and suffering.”

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