07/30/2010, 00.00
IRAQ

Another Christian abducted in Kirkuk

A 50-year-old man was taken last night from his office. Crime is up in the city because of the power vacuum in the country. For the past four months, politicians have failed to form a government. For Christians, it is a time of martyrdom.
Kirkuk (AsiaNews) – A group of armed men abducted a Chaldean Christian man last night in Kirkuk. Local sources told AsiaNews that Yonan (Jonas ) Daniel Mammo, 50, was closing his office in the Almas neighbourhood when three armed individuals got out of a BMW and took him.

Mammo is married and has two daughters. He is not a rich man but works at an exchange control office. After he was abducted, he called his wife by phone, saying that he had been taken. Since then, there have been no news from him. Many believe he was kidnapped for ransom.

Mgr Louis Sako (pictured), Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk, has contacted other religious leaders in the city and the government.

Violence against Christians in particular and the population in general are becoming increasingly frequent across the country as a result of a power vacuum. Four months since parliamentary election, Iraq’s political parties have not yet been able to form a government.

“The country is in the dark,” a source told AsiaNews, “and in such a situation groups of plunderers and criminals get stronger more and more.”

Last week, a Turkmen colonel and his son were killed downtown. “For Iraqi Christians,” the source said, “bearing witness means martyrdom”.

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