Israel Asks Vatican´s Help With 3 Kidnapped Soldiers

VATICAN CITY, MAY 4, 2001 <a href=””>( Israel has appealed to the Vatican to request information on the fate of three soldiers kidnapped last October by the Hezbollah guerrilla group near the Lebanese border.

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Israeli officials explained that their country made this request on the eve of John Paul II´s meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad. The meeting takes place Saturday in Damascus.

Ofer Bavly, spokesman of the Israeli Embassy in Rome, said the request was presented to Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Vatican´s apostolic nuncio in Israel.

Iran-backed Hezbollah led the war against Israel´s occupation of southern Lebanon. It captured the three Israeli soldiers in an ambush in the Chebaa Farms.

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