05/30/2011, 00.00
IRAQ

Othodox Christian shot to death in Mosul

Arkan Jihad Yacob, vice director of a cement factory, was married and a father of four. Twice before he had escaped kidnapping attempts, but this time, his attackers were able to stop and kill him on his way to work. The guns used had silencers. Fear continues to grip the Christian community.
Mosul (AsiaNews) – Iraq’s Christian community has been the victim of another targeted killing. This morning, an Orthodox Christian was killed in Mosul, northern Iraq. The dead man had been the victim of two attempted ransom abductions in the past, but in both cases, he was able to escape from his attackers. This time, the murderers waited for him as he went to work, firing at him several times in cold blood.

Sources, on condition of anonymity for security reasons, told AsiaNews that Arkan Jihad Yacob was an Orthodox Christian, and the vice director of a cement factory.

Born in 1948 in Mosul, the married father of four was the victim of two previous abduction attempts, ostensibly to extort ransom from his family. In both cases, he was quick enough to thwart his attackers.

This morning however, the men who went after him meant to kill and they succeeded. Arkan Jihad Yacob was shot several times as he made his way to work in an execution-style cold-blooded murder. His killers used a silencer.

The local community took part in Arkan’s funeral in Mosul’s Syro-Orthodox cathedral. With his death, Iraqi Christians find themselves again under attack from Muslim extremists.

The previous incident goes back to 16 May, in Kirkuk, when the body of a Christian man was found. He had been killed after being abducted, his body mutilated, because his family could raise US$ 10,000 to pay for the ransom (see “Kirkuk: young Christian abducted, tortured and beheaded,” in AsiaNews, 16 May 2011).

Speaking to AsiaNews, sources in Iraq say that Christians continue to endure an atmosphere of tensions and fear, as they continue to be targeted for abductions, which end in blood when they are unsuccessful. (DS)

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