06/20/2007, 00.00
IRAQ

8 Christian students and teachers are kidnapped in the Nineveh Plain

The group were travelling by minibus towards the village of Qaraqosh, in the North. Numerous cars stopped and surrounded them on the road; still no contact with the kidnappers. Yesterday in Mosul two Christians were assassinated in the quarter where Fr. Ragheed Ganni and his three sub deacons were murdered earlier this month.

Mosul (AsiaNews) – Yet again Christians are being kidnapped and murdered in Iraq.  This morning 8 Christian students and teachers from the village of Qaraqosh – in the Niniveh Plain – were kidnapped on the road between Mosul and their village.  The group of 50 people was on the way home from Mosul, where earlier this morning they had sustained entrance exams for University.  The minibus onboard which they were travelling was stopped and surrounded by a caravan of cars ; the terrorists read a list of names of those who were to follow them, when no one responded to their orders they demanded to see identity cards.  They took 3 teachers and 5 students away with them.  The police witnessed the kidnapping without intervening.  As of yet there is still no news of the authors of the kidnapping, nor of the health and conditions of the hostages.

But violence against the miniscule religious community does not stop at kidnappings.  Yesterday in Mosul two Christians were killed in Nour quarter, the same area where June 3rd last the Chaldean Catholic priest Fr. Ragheed Ganni and three sub deacons were massacred.  In the same city, stronghold of Sunni “resistance”, an unidentified group sequestered two men of Batnaya origin. The kidnappers have already demanded a ransom for their release.

Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly – currently in the Vatican for the ROACO assembly, the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches – today launched a fresh appeal “that the worlds conscience be awoken” and the International community take on its duty “to protect and defend the rights of Iraq’s people, Christian and Muslim”.

 

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