Syrian Rebel Says Kidnapped Bishops OK

Halepi_SyriaThe two Orthodox Bishops, Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji, who were kidnapped at the end of April, reportedly near the town of Kafr Dael, near Aleppo in northern Syria, are good in health as an official of the Syrian opposition said in Istanbul, without being able to give any news on their whereabouts.

“Two or three days ago, a doctor visited the two bishops. They are in good health,” said Abdul Ahad Steipho, member of the main opposition’s National Coalition and of its committee established to follow up on the kidnappings. That was on May 16.

Steipho said that the committees’ efforts to communicate with the bishops by telephone failed. He also said: “We are receiving a lot of contradictory information on the identity of the kidnappers and their demands for ransom.”

When asked of the possible aspects, he answered: “These kidnappings are sometimes carried out by criminal gangs… other times by the regime (of President Bashar al-Assad) and sometimes by the brigades of the (rebel) Free Syrian Army, who use kidnappings as a way to exchange prisoners.”