Mosul (AsiaNews) - Attacks continue against Christians to push them to flee from Iraq. Yesterday afternoon Zhaki Homo Bashir, a Christian deacon, was hit by gunfire from a group of unknown criminals. The man had just entered his shop located in the district of al Jadida. Seriously injured, he was transported to hospital. AsiaNews published the news yesterday of the kidnapping a college student from an Islamic group. News has also reached the agency in recent days that another Christian was killed on Christmas Eve; Basil Isho Youhanna was hit by gunfire in front of his house in the neighbourhood of Tahrir, in northern Mosul. In recent weeks there has been an increase of killings of Christians and attacks on churches and convents. All the violence is part of a project of "ethnic cleansing" against the Iraqi Christians, reported to AsiaNews by Msgr. Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk. The national government and the local governorate are powerless before these attacks, while the different ethnic groups Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen - with the possible infiltration of extremist cells – are all blaming each other.
According to local sources, since 2003, the year of the fall of Saddam Hussein, at least 1960 Christians have been killed in Iraq. Their presence has been reduced by at least half because of the exodus to other quieter areas of the country (Kurdistan) or abroad.