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  • » 08/26/2010, 00.00

    IRAQ

    Karakosh - Baghdeeda: a Christian originally from Mosul is kidnapped



    Louyaé Behnam was kidnapped yesterday by a group of armed men. The family has already paid a ransom of 15 thousand dollars, but the kidnappers have not yet released the man. Throughout the country attacks continue after the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

    Mosul (AsiaNews) - A Syrian Catholic Christian was kidnapped yesterday in Karakosh - Baghdeeda by a group of armed men, who immediately after the abduction demanded a ransom of 15 thousand U.S. dollars. Local sources told AsiaNews that the family has already paid the sum, but the kidnappers have not yet released the man. Louyaé Behnam, 35, is originally from Mosul, where until a few years ago he ran a glaziers shop. For security reasons, he moved along with his family Karakosh - Baghdeeda 30 km from Mosul. The city is located in a Christian majority district of Karakosh (Nineveh Plain), and is home to many displaced Christians from Mosul and Baghdad.

    Northern Iraq has long been the scene of targeted attacks against the Christian community, the centre of a power struggle between Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen. According to Christians attacks are linked to the creation of a Christian enclave in the plain of Nineveh, which the government does nothing to counter.

    The announcement of the withdrawal of the last contingent of U.S. troops, which marks the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom, "only adds to the climate of general insecurity. For six months Iraqis have been waiting for the formation of a government and the country is being taken over by criminal gangs and Islamic extremists.

    Yesterday, more than 50 people were killed in a series of attacks that struck the city of Kirkuk, Fallujah, Tikrit, Mosul, Basra, Ramadi and Karbala. Official sources said the attacks are the work of the extremists of al-Qaida, but local sources say that "the attacks are politicized and al-Qaida has nothing to do with them. Their purpose is to intimidate the population".
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    See also

    16/01/2009 IRAQ
    Mosul, fresh anti Christian violence. Murder and torture
    36-year old Chourik Bagrad, was massacred with multiple gunshot wounds to the head. Another believer was kidnapped New Years eve: he was released on payment of a ransom of 50 thousand dollars. AsiaNews sources relay that Mosul is a “volcano about to explode”.

    30/12/2009 IRAQ
    Christian student kidnapped by Islamic group in Mosul
    The girl was abducted from the faculty of education. In the past, attacks have occurred against Christian university students because they wear make up or they refused to wear the veil. Attacks and kidnappings are a "warning" to force the mass exodus of Christians. Some people speak of "ethnic cleansing" on a religious basis.

    16/02/2010 IRAQ
    Mosul, anti-Christian violence: two murders and a kidnapping in 24 hours
    The Christian community is once again under attack from armed gangs, while the government does nothing to stop the attacks. In two raids two traders killed, a third man injured. “A large sum of money” demanded for the kidnapped Christians. Christian leader in Erbil: political ties between the expulsion of Christians from Iraq and the recent carnage in Baghdad.

    29/11/2010 IRAQ
    Terrorists behind attack on Baghdad church arrested
    In the operation conducted by Iraqi security forces, new plans to target four buildings discovered. The 12 arrested have admitted their responsibility. But the news of the capture is no comfort to the Christian community, which continues to leave Baghdad.

    15/09/2009 IRAQ
    Kirkuk: Christian doctor, held by kidnappers for a month, is freed
    Samir Gorj, 50 year old father of two, was released upon payment "of a hefty ransom". He shows signs of torture all over his body. For his release Christians and Muslims had launched a joint appeal. Archbishop of Kirkuk: "a true witness of Christ."



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