Two abducted bishops released in Syria

Beirut, April 24 (IANS/AKI) Two Orthodox bishops who were kidnapped by gunmen in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo have been freed, the Zenit.org website said.

A number of senior diplomats and international officials were involved in negotiations to release the two bishops, including the Greek ambassador to Syria, UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The gunmen had snatched the bishops from their car Monday, killing their driver.

Mar Gregorios Ibrahim is a bishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Aleppo and Paul Yazigi is a bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch in the city.

The Vatican released a statement after the bishops’ abduction, calling it “a dramatic confirmation of the tragic situation in which the Syrian population and the Christian communities in Syria are living”.

“Pope Francis is following the events with deep participation and he is praying for the health and the liberation of the two kidnapped bishops,” the Vatican said.

–IANS/AKI

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