Priest’s release urged in Syria
August 03, 2013 10:20 AM

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s main opposition coalition today urged the release of a Catholic priest who disappeared earlier this week while visiting a rebel-held city in the country’s northeast.

Paolo Dall’Oglio, an Italian Jesuit priest, went missing on Monday in the city of Raqqa.

Raqqa in February became the first city to fall entirely under opposition control. Since then, there have been tensions between hard-line militants linked to al-Qaida and more moderate rebel groups over how to administer the city.

Both rebels and pro-regime forces have abducted political foes, members of rival sects and wealthy families around Syria and others, including foreign journalists, to settle scores or for ransom.

The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition said it was “deeply concerned” over the disappearance.

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