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Pope calls for release of kidnapped prisoners in Syria

In St. Peter's Square, the focus was on Syria. Pope Francis called for an end to the war and for the release of those who have been kidnapped including two bishops. "Dear brothers and sisters, I am pained over the enduring conflict which for more than two years has inflames Syria. This tormented situation of war brings with it tragic consequences: death, destruction, major economic and environmental damage, as well as the plague of kidnappings. In deploring these facts, I wish to assure you of my prayer and my solidarity for the kidnapped people and their families, and I appeal to the humanity of the kidnappers to free their victims. Let's pray for our beloved Syria." Two Syrian Orthodox bishops were kidnapped last month and are still missing. Abductions by both rebels and the government are rampant and often target foreigners. The Pope's remarks came on a day that saw heavy fighting in Rastan and in the border town of Qusair

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