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  • » 10/16/2008, 00.00

    IRAQ

    Kurds and Arabs exchange accusations over attacks on Christians in Mosul



    The government says it does not believe that al Qaeda is behind the killings. Condemnation of the attacks has also come from the the highest Shiite authority, grand ayatollah Ali Sistani.

    Baghdad (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Who is behind the attacks on Christians in Mosul? The Iraqi government says it does not believe that this is al Qaeda, while media sources note that most of the people struck lived in the area controlled by Kurdish militias. The Kurdish regional government denounces the "malign efforts" of those who want to "conceal the truly guilty," denounced as "religious fanatics," and "orders" all ministers to help those who have been struck.

    The exchange of accusations over responsibility for the attacks against Christians in Mosul seems to confirm the at least predominantly political nature of what is taking place in a city that is at the center of Kurdish and "Arab" claims, in addition to being a region extremely rich in oil reserves. Condemnation of the attacks against Christians on the part of the highest Shiite authority, grand ayatollah Ali Sistani, seems to point in the same direction.

    The spokesman for Baghdad's interior ministry, Abdulkarim Khalaf, says "I do not think al-Qaeda is behind the attacks against Mosul Christians." One of the leading Iraqi newspapers, Azzaman, in reporting the statements by the spokesman, notes that "Most of the victims and the fleeing refugees lived on the left bank of the city where Kurdish militias are in control as it is mainly a Kurdish-inhabited area. Most of the Christians on the right bank of the Tigris River, a predominately Arab sector, are reported to have preferred to stay. Anti-Christian violence has concentrated in areas where Kurdish militias exercise almost full control. But residents say an explosive charge placed at the entrance of an ancient church in the Arab quarter went off on Tuesday, inflicting some material damage but causing no injuries."

    For its part, the Kurdish regional government accuses "religious fanatics and terrorists groups," and, the news agency AINA says, "has ordered all ministries, departments and relevant parties to assist and help the victims as much as possible." The Kurdish government also "forcefully condemns" the attacks and those who accuse the Kurds, and "we reiterate our support for the full rights of the Christians in provincial councils, under article 50 of the provincial election law." This is the norm that reserved representation at this level for the minorities, and which parliament, at the moment of approving the law, struck down. In the face of the protests of Christians and international criticisms, the president of the republic promised that the principle will be reintroduced.

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    See also

    29/09/2008 IRAQ
    Appeal from Archbishop Sako: politics is also trying to wipe out Iraqi Christians
    The archbishop of Kirkuk launches an appeal to the government and to UN representatives, for the protection of Christians and other minorities, excluded from the new law that will regulate the provincial elections. Yesterday, in all of Iraqi Kurdistan, demonstrations were held after the Sunday Masses.

    09/08/2008 IRAQ
    Kurdish prime minister Barzani in Kirkuk to promote "peace and harmony"
    The head of the government of Kurdistan has met with religious leaders and political representatives of the city. Archbishop Sako says he hopes that peace may not be mere "talk", but may become the concrete element on which to "rebuild society". Tension eases after violence of recent weeks.

    19/01/2010 IRAQ
    Mosul: targeted execution of Christians continues in media and government silence
    Yesterday an armed group killed a 45 year-old businessman. It is the second murder in less than 24 hours. Witnesses said security forces were at the scene but did not intervene. AsiaNews sources: they blame al Qaeda, but Christians are victims "of the power struggle" between Arabs and Kurds.

    03/03/2016 19:13:00 IRAQ
    Without a home or job, conditions for Mosul refugees is getting worse, Erbil priest says

    Many families have been forced to go back to tents because they cannot affor the rend for a house. Jobs are scarce, and even those who have one are often not paid. Going home to Mosul and the Nineveh Plain is increasingly remote. Lent celebrations bring a sense of community. Little Miriam’s story and the value of forgiveness offer important lessons. Fr Jalal Yako, who runs a refugee camp near Erbil, talks about his work.



    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.



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