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Kidnapping of the archbishops of Aleppo: our exclusive investigation

Eleven years have passed since the kidnapping of two archbishops in Aleppo, which shook the Eastern Churches and the Syrian Christian community. It was in April 2013. The investigation around their disappearance has still not progressed. Yet numerous intermediaries have tried to unravel the mystery, with the help of half the region's intelligence services. No one knows whether they are alive or dead. Nor does anyone know who was behind their abduction. Why them? Why make two leading figures of the Eastern Churches disappear without claiming responsibility or demanding a ransom? Why do it at a time when the outcome of the Syrian war, which began two years earlier, remains highly uncertain? To this day, the subject provokes hiccups, sudden aphonies and sometimes even a few warnings from certain interlocutors close to the matter. "It's such a sensitive subject that it's best not to get involved," they warn. "People's lives - and yours - are at stake." For the first time since their disappearance, L'Orient-Today has managed to piece together a large part of the puzzle, without however claiming to provide a definitive answer. To carry out this unprecedented investigation, we interviewed over twenty people, including relatives of the missing bishops, as well as religious, political, diplomatic, security and intellectual sources.

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