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  • » 12/18/2009, 00.00

    IRAQ

    Another targeted killing against Mosul’s Christian community



    Gunmen kill a 30-year-old man on his way home. One attacker gets out of the car to make sure he is dead. The last liquor store is closed in the province of Babylon, and its owner is arrested. Iraq is drifting towards fundamentalism and the Islamisation of the country.
    Mosul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Mosul’s Christian community has suffered more violence.  Zeid Majid Youssef, a 30-year-old worker, was killed in the western part of the city. One of his attacker got out of the car to make sure he was dead. In another sign that Iraq is drifting towards fundamentalism, authorities in the province of Babylon closed down the last liquor store in the area, this despite the fact that the separation of state and religion is enshrined in the constitution.

    A few days after a double attack against churches in Mosul left an eight-day baby girl dead, anti-Christian attacks continue. Sources had told AsiaNews that community “was destined to die”.

    The attackers drove up and shot dead Zeid Majid Youssef as he as entering his home after parking his car.

    Mohammad Abdel al-Jabbar, who saw what happened, said that one of the criminals “got out of the car to make sure that he was dead” before the car took off “quickly”, execution style.

    Local sources said that the young man was buried in the cemetery near the Immaculate Church, in Tahira. In the past, the building has suffered a lot of damage as a result of two car bombs.

    The murder is part of a plan to “ethnically cleanse” Iraqi Christians through targeted killings.

    Speaking with AsiaNews Mgr Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, had slammed what was happening as the national government and the local governatorate proved unable to stop events, and the city’s various ethnic groups, Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen, with possible foreign involvement, blamed each other.

    In the province of Babylon, 90 kilometres south of Baghdad, the authorities closed down the last liquor store. It belonged to a Yazidi family, and the storeowner was arrested by police on Monday.

    Firas Sardar, 25, said that his uncle “Mourad, 45, was stopped by some agents . . . Since then we have not seen him.”

    The man’s son explained that plainclothes police officers intervened because “neighbours had complained about shouting and noise caused by clients.”

    Firas Sardar said that Hilla, the capital of the province of Babylon, has only two Yazidi families, related to one another. Both have involved in the sale of alcohol for more than 40 years.

    Until the fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein, they were properly authorised to do so. At present, Islamic fundamentalists have grown in power and are exerting pressure to implement fully Sharia, Islamic law, which bans the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

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    See also

    22/12/2008 IRAQ
    Iraqi bishops: This is our Christmas, between hopes and sufferings
    Iraqi bishops tell AsiaNews about the climate in the country, on the eve of the holiday. Compared to the era of Saddam Hussein, there is greater freedom, but the danger of violence remains. The prelates emphasize the positive elements on the path of dialogue, and are asking the government for concrete steps in the protection of rights.

    06/06/2008 IRAQ
    Iraq’s Christian cultural heritage belongs to all, let us save it!
    Kirkuk’s Chaldean archbishop appeals to UNESCO. The Christian exodus from Iraq jeopardises the survival of churches and manuscripts found nowhere else in the world. The United Nations and the international community should do something.

    24/07/2009 IRAQ
    Kurdistan goes to the polls, Barzani set to be re-elected
    Voters will pick the regional president and the 111 members of the regional assembly. Tensions remain high on the eve of the vote. The new administration will have difficult issues on its plate; topping the list are control over Kirkuk and local-central wrangling over jurisdiction in oil matters.

    11/11/2009 IRAQ
    Kurdish guns threaten to bring a new humanitarian catastrophe to Iraqi minorities
    Human Rights Watch raises the alarm, confirmed by AsiaNews sources. Plan includes setting up a ghetto in the Nineveh Plains for Christians and guarantee Kurds control over resource-rich Kirkuk. Humanitarian aid is given in exchange for support as dissidents get crushed.

    19/04/2012 IRAQ
    Attacks against officials and politicians leave 21 dead and scores of wounded
    Bombs go off in Baghdad, Kirkuk, Samarra, Dibis and Taji. No one has yet claimed responsibility but sources in Kirkuk tell AsiaNews that factional divisions among Iraqi parties are to blame.



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