Beirut - Syria's main opposition bloc is urging the release
of a Catholic priest who disappeared while visiting a rebel-held city in the
In a statement on Saturday, the Western-backed Syrian
National Coalition has urged any party involved Paolo Dall'Oglio's
disappearance to "immediately come forward and release him".
Dall'Oglio, an Italian Jesuit priest, went missing on Monday
in the city of Raqqa. He is a critic of the Damascus regime and was expelled
last year from Syria, where he had lived for 30 years.
Raqqa in February became the first city to have fallen
entirely under opposition control. Islamic militants with links to al-Qaeda are
at odds there with more moderate rebel groups.
Activists said Dall'Oglio went to Raqqa to meet with al-Qaeda-linked