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    » 05/16/2011, 00.00


    Kirkuk: young Christian abducted, tortured and beheaded

    Ashur Yacob Issa, 29, was the father of three children. He was abducted three days ago. Negotiations for his released failed. This morning police found his body, which bore “horrific marks of torture”. In voicing his outrage, the archbishop of Kirkuk slammed this “inhuman act,” urging everyone to work together to “protect defenceless citizens”.
    Kirkuk (AsiaNews) – An Iraqi Christian man was abducted, tortured and then beheaded. The victim was from Kirkuk, northern Iraq. Police found his body this morning. He had been kidnapped three days ago and the family had received a ransom request. However, negotiations for his release did not work out and so he was brutally murdered. For the archbishop of Kirkuk, his death is an “inhuman act” because it goes “against every human and religious principle”. Iraqi Christians have been living in a state of high tension since the killing of Osama Bin Laden, fearing possible revenge by local Muslim extremists.

    Ashur Yacob Issa was 29 years old and had three children, a source in Kirkuk told AsiaNews. He was abducted three days ago for ransom. His kidnappers wanted US$ 100,000 to release him. However, negotiations with his family “did not work out”, a local Christian said.

    The incident came to a terrible end this morning, when police found the young man’s body, by the side of a bridge. The body showed “horrific marks of torture”, the source said. The head had been cut off and the eyes gauged out of their socket.

    The crime sent a shockwave through the city, especially in its Christian community. although the victim was kidnapped in order to get a large sum of money, the death of Osama Bin Laden by the US on 2 May has raised the tension level in the Christian community. Since then in fact, it has been living in fear of possible reprisals by Muslim extremists.

    Speaking to AsiaNews, Mgr Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, condemned the murder of the young man, calling it an “inhuman act” that goes against “every human and religious principle”.

    “No man who believes in God and respects life can commit such acts,” the prelate said.

    Now Mgr Sako’s concern is for the widow and her fatherless children.

    However, in a warning to the perpetrators of this act, the archbishop said, “Let them think about those who are left without a father and a husband. Even if human justice is not done, divine justice shall, sooner or later”.

    Lastly, the archbishop of Kirkuk called on police and security forces officials, both local and national, to undertake joint action “so that all people of good will can work together to protect defenceless citizens.” (DS)

    Picture: Ankawa.com

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    See also

    22/05/2009 IRAQ
    Kirkuk: young Christian teacher is freed thanks to help of Muslims
    Joint intervention of army and tribal leaders led to the release of Namir Nadhim Gourguis, kidnapped on May 14th last. No ransom was paid. Decisive the mediation between Imam and tribal chiefs. Msgr Sako: “the Christian community of Kirkuk rejoices”.

    10/08/2010 IRAQ
    Mgr. Sako’s Message for Ramadan in Kirkuk
    The Chaldean archbishop asks Muslims that this sacred month be a time of prayer and reconciliation. He calls on Christians to observe the Muslim fast, not to eat in public and to dress modestly. In recent years in Mosul and Baghdad bombings occurred even during Ramadan. Fears for the population and Christians.

    03/03/2008 IRAQ
    Muslim leaders also call for the release of the bishop of Mosul
    No contacts with Mgr Faraj Rahho’s kidnappers. In Mosul people are still convinced he is alive despite the lack of any evidence. In Kirkuk a representative of al-Sadr’s Shia movement raises a banner that says that “Such actions are bad for Iraq.” The Chaldean community makes a “pained appeal.”

    26/04/2012 IRAQ
    "Building bridges of peace", a project that unites Christians and Muslims in Kirkuk
    The Chaldean archbishopric holds a reconciliation forum today. Some 50 political, religious and cultural leaders attend the event. Mgr Sako presents a seven-point proposal, signed by participants, as a "joint commitment" to dialogue. A committee is set to see to its implementation.

    07/03/2008 IRAQ
    Kidnappers reaffirm their demands in Mosul archbishop’s abduction
    A week since Mgr Rahho was abducted no assurance on his health has been given. In the latest phone contact made last night kidnappers did not allow mediators to talk with the prelate. A Via Crucis around Kirkuk cathedral will be conducted today for his release.

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