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» 02/17/2011
IRAQ
Kirkuk: kidnapped Christian freed after family pays ransom
Iyad Salman Dawoud Askar, a married father of two, was kidnapped February 13. The kidnappers had demanded a sum of 50 thousand dollars for his release. In 2009, the man lost his brother, killed during a kidnapping attempt. AsiaNews sources: expectations and hope for the events in the Middle East, but fear of more violence remains.

Kirkuk (AsiaNews) - Iyad Salman Dawoud Askar, a Catholic of Kirkuk, kidnapped on February 13 by a group of criminals was released last night by his abductors upon payment of a ransom. At the moment, there is no confirmation on the total amount paid by the family. AsiaNews sources in the host city greet the happy ending withwith "joy and satisfaction", but do not hide their fear for the future of Iraq and the Christian community.

On 13 February, a group of armed men kidnapped Iyad Salman Dawoud Askar, a 53 year old Catholic and married father of two children (one boy and one girl). The man was taken by the criminals in front of his home, in the Dor al- Zira'a area, close to Ithifalat square, in the south-west of the city.

At first the kidnappers asked for 50 thousand dollars ransom. Police sources confirmed the payment of a sum of money, but the amount paid for his release late yesterday afternoon, is unknown. The family of Askar in 2009 had been the victim of a kidnapping attempt. On that occasion he his brother Sabah Daud Askar was killed.

AsiaNews sources in Kirkuk, anonymous for security reasons, express "joy and satisfaction" for his release. Recent events have led to moments of "expectation and hope" but also "fear for what happens in Egypt and other countries in the Middle East." Hope a movement for democracy will be born and, at the same time, fears of fundamentalist drift which could take over these events. "The extremists - concludes the source - may start targeting us again." (DS)


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See also
09/15/2009 IRAQ
Kirkuk: Christian doctor, held by kidnappers for a month, is freed
12/14/2007 IRAQ
Arrested in Kirkuk a gang specialised in kidnapping Christian doctors
09/07/2009 IRAQ
Mosul: more kidnappings and murders of Christians, to force them to the plain of Nineveh
08/26/2010 IRAQ
Karakosh - Baghdeeda: a Christian originally from Mosul is kidnapped
01/16/2009 IRAQ
Mosul, fresh anti Christian violence. Murder and torture

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by Bernardo CervelleraIn the garden of the parish of Mar Elia beside the tents there are containers that serve as classrooms for the children and as a library. Another serves as a room for sewing. A children's choir. Fr. Douglas: "Taking care of refugees does not just mean thinking about eating, drinking, medicines, injections, vaccinations ... The displaced persons need to do something and to cultivate hope."
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Way of the Cross: the refugees from Mosul beyond the emergency
by Bernardo CervelleraThere are at least half a million people who have taken refuge in Kurdistan to flee from ISIS. In the Shlama Mall at Erbil: 350 people living in the skeleton of a building under construction, with draped sheets and blankets serving as walls. The ordination of a young man, also a refugee, shows that with the flight, there is something that has not been destroyed: the faith, the traditions, the priesthood.
IRAQ - VATICAN
As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers
by Amel NonaPersecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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