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Italy: Missing priest abducted by Islamic group

August 6, 2013

MILAN (AP) — Italy’s foreign minister says an Italian Jesuit priest missing in Syria has likely been abducted by an Islamic group.

Emma Bonino told state television Tuesday that the captors appear to be “a local version of al-Qaida,” and that Italy was working to win his release.

Activists said Paolo Dall’Oglio, a well-known figure in Syria, had gone to meet with al-Qaida-linked militants when he went missing at the end of July. Dall’Oglio is a critic of the regime of President Bashar Assad, which the rebels are fighting to overthrow. The government a year ago expelled him from Syria, where he had lived for 30 years.

Bonino said Italy also was working for the release of an Italian war correspondent held in Syria since April.

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