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  • » 10/05/2008, 00.00

    IRAQ

    Mosul, the relentless slaughter of Iraqi Christians



    Two new attacks yesterday against the Christian community: the owner of a clothing store and a 15-year-old boy were killed. A source for AsiaNews denounces the climate of "panic" that fills the city, and the "indifference of the media," which have passed over the slaughter "in silence."

    Mosul (AsiaNews) - A new attack against the Christians in Mosul: yesterday afternoon, an armed group assassinated Hazim Thomaso Youssif, age 40. The ambush took place in front of his clothing store in Bab Sarray; it is not yet known who ordered the killing, but it is suspected that it is the work of Islamic fundamentalists, in a city that has long been the theater of deadly attacks on the Christian community.

    On the same day, 15-year-old Ivan Nuwya, also a Christian, was killed. The young man was shot to death in front of his home in the neighborhood of Tahrir, in front of the local mosque of Alzhara.

    A source for AsiaNews in Mosul decries the "climate of panic" in which the Christian community lives, the slaughter of which continues "to the indifference" of the media, which "do not even report the crimes that are committed." Speaking of the situation in Mosul, the source emphasizes that the city "has become the holocaust of the Christians," and that there is no sign of improvement despite the efforts in the war on terror.

    The diocese has been paying an increasingly large tribute of blood in recent years, beginning with the tragic kidnapping of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, whose lifeless body was found last March 13 in an abandoned area just outside of the city. During the ambush that preceded the archbishop's captivity, the three men acting as his bodyguard were massacred by the terrorists.

    In 2007, the Iraqi Christian community suffered 47 deaths, 13 of them in Mosul: these include Fr Ragheed Gani, murdered on June 3, and two other priests.

    Between January 6 and 17 of this year, there was also a series of attacks on Christian property. A wave of bombings struck the Chaldean church of the Immaculate Virgin, the Chaldean Church of St Paul, which was almost destroyed, the entrance to the orphanage run by the Chaldean sisters in al Nour, a Nestorian church, and the convent of the Dominican sisters in Mosul Jadida.

    The last episode of violence dates back to September 2, when there was a tragic end to the kidnapping of a 65-year-old doctor, Tariq Qattan, who was killed in spite of the fact that his family had paid 250,000 dollars for his release. Two days before, another Christian, Nafi Haddad, had been kidnapped and killed. (DS)

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    See also

    27/10/2008 IRAQ - VATICAN
    Chaldean bishop: appeal for Mosul, emptied of Christians
    Urged by the appeal of Benedict XVI, Rabban Al Qas, bishop of Ammadiya and Erbil, asks prime minister al Maliki and the American forces to accept responsibility for the violence afflicting Christians, the result of an intolerant fundamentalism that has never been halted. A request to the Islamic world as well, that it condemn what is taking place in Mosul. Tomorrow in Erbil, a meeting of Chaldean bishops and of the Vatican nuncio.

    23/10/2008 IRAQ
    More violence in Mosul: father and son killed because they were Christian
    Despite the hopes of the government and part of the population, the massacre of Christians continues in Iraq. The killing could be another signal for the Christians to leave the country. Prime minister al Maliki promises to "punish the guilty and their supporters."

    07/10/2008 IRAQ
    Mosul, another "targeted murder" against the Christian community
    A disabled 25-year-old shopkeeper was killed yesterday, not far from the shop that he owned. The objective of the fundamentalists is to shut down the activities of Christians and force them to flee. A source for AsiaNews denounces the "complicity" of the police, and the "curtain of silence" that has fallen across the slaughter.

    22/10/2008 IRAQ
    Chaldean bishop of Kirkuk: Christians being driven out of Mosul for political reasons
    The prelate launches an appeal, calling upon all to defend the minorities in Iraq, and the Christian minority, the target of many attacks, especially in Mosul. For the bishop, the Christians are victims of a political game connected to the upcoming elections, and to the project for a Christian enclave in the plain of Nineveh. An appeal to the Christians of the West as well, that they denounce every act of violence and to demonstrate solidarity and fellowship.

    16/03/2009 IRAQ
    Iraq looks to future with "optimism." Economic crisis feared more than security
    Violence and lack of security are not the main cause of concern. 85% of Iraqis call the current situation "very good or quite good." Sources for AsiaNews confirm the reopening of shops and businesses. The country must promote economic alternatives to oil, like tourism and agriculture.



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