Beirut

Jesuit priest was not abducted, say activists

Contacts suspended for negotiations with jihadists

Jesuit priest was not abducted, say activists

Beirut, July 31 - Italian Jesuit priest Paolo Dall'Oglio, who disappeared in northern Syria on Sunday, "has not been kidnapped but has suspended all external contacts as part of negotiations" he is carrying out with jihadist members of the Syrian opposition, activists who accompanied the priest to Syria told ANSA on Wednesday. The activists said Dall'Oglio entered Syria across the border with Turkey and has been negotiating with the militants since Sunday. The priest had an appointment with Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, head of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an organization linked to the al Nusra Front, the main jihadist group in the Syrian opposition. Dall'Oglio told the activists that he would interrupt all contact for a few days. On Tuesday several websites of the Syrian opposition reported that the Jesuit was mediating to obtain the release of a television troupe working for an anti-regime broadcaster abducted recently near the city of Aleppo.

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