THE badly decomposed body of a Dutch Jesuit, who had been missing for 17 days, has been found at the bottom of a well in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. Fr Nlcholi Kluiters was kidnapped on March 14 near the monastery of Nabha where he had lived and worked for ten years.
The reasons for his murder and who committed it are not known, but the Bekaa Valley has been the scene of some of the worst fighting in Lebanon's civil war.
' A Dutch embassy spokesman in Beirut refused to confirm that the body found at the foot of a 210 ft well was Fr Kluiters. However Fr Hamwj of the Jesuit Church in Beirut said that there was no doubt that the body in the ancient Roman city of Baalbek was Fr 'Chillers. A Jesuit representative had identified him from his clothing.
One official in the area has suggested that Fr Kluiters was seized by local residents with a view to trading him for another man recently kidnapped in the Bekaa Valley.
Another priest, the Servile Er Laurence Jenco, who was kidnapped at the beginning of the year, is still being held in Lebanon. His parents in the United States recently received a letter from him, and they are lobbying the US government to step up efforts to gain his release.