Foreign-backed militants fighting against the Syrian government have kidnapped an Italian priest in the northeastern city of Raqqa.
Activists said on Wednesday members of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have kidnapped Father Paolo Dall’Oglio in the militant-held city.
Raqqa fell to the militants on Monday.
Syrian authorities expelled the Italian priest from the country last year over his anti-government activities. Dall’Oglio had been acting as an unofficial diplomat for the Syrian opposition, trying to heal sectarian rifts between activists in a bid to create a united opposition.
Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said she was verifying kidnapping claims but there was “no news”.
Takfiri militants operating in Syria killed Father Francois Murad and another Christian in the western city of Homs in June.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011.
According to the reports, the West and its regional allies– Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on July 25 that more than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria since the outbreak of foreign-sponsored militancy in the country. Millions of others have also been displaced in the violence.
Republished from: Press TV