Two Archbishops were kidnapped today as their car was ambushed by armed militants. Killing the driver, the kidnappers snatched the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo and Iskenderun, Met. Boulos Yazigi and the Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo, Met. Youhanna Ibrahim on the outskirts of Aleppo.
According to details relayed to an-Nahar by specific sources, Met. Yazigi was on the Turkish side of his archdiocese, which extends from Aleppo to Antakya and Met. Ibrahim had gone to accompany him. Along the road on their return to Aleppo, an armed group stopped them before they could arrive back to the city, killing Ibrahim’s driver and kidnapping the two Metropolitans. The Orthodox Metropolitan’s office relates that the two men were not injured.
Recently, the only remaining Christian church in Deir Ezzor was blown up forcing the remaining Christians to leave the city.
Also missing are two priests Michael Kayyal (Armenian Catholic) and Maher Mahfouz (Greek Orthodox) kidnapped on February 9 by an armed gang on the Aleppo-Damascus highway. Attempts to find the kidnappers for the purpose of negotiations have failed. The Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Boutros Marayati gave an account to Fides Agency:
“The so-called kidnappers – reports to Fides the Archbishop – phoned the brother of one of the two priests and said only: ‘They are with us’. But they did not explain what is behind the ‘we’, and have not asked for any demands.