05/22/2009, 00.00

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”.

Kirkuk (AsiaNews) – Namir Nadhim Gourguis, a 32 year-old Christian teacher, has been freed.  A joint operation yesterday between the army and Arab forces of the reawakening in Kirkuk, led to the release of the young man who was kidnapped on May 14th by an armed group.

AsiaNews sources in Iraq explain that “mediation with tribal chiefs” and “collaboration provided by the local Imams” proved to be decisive in securing his freedom.  The kidnappers “did not receive any ransom”.

The kidnapping took place the morning of May 14th: an armed group of four men broke into the primary school in Ruwaidha village – in the sub district of Al Rashad, circa 30 from Kirkuk – abducting the young man. Local sourced explain that he “is from a simple and poor family background”, that the ransom demanded by the kidnappers was “very high” and the family “was unable to pay it”.

Collaboration between the Christian community, the Arab world and local tribal chiefs was detrimental in securing the Namir release for which the Archbishop of Kirkuk, Msgr. Louis Sako had also immediately intervened.  “Today is a day of great celebration for the Christian community – Msgr. Sako tells AsiaNews –After 8 days Namir is free.  We thank God: today the Christian community of Kirkuk rejoices”.

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See also
Kirkuk: young Christian abducted, tortured and beheaded
Silence must not descend on Archbishop of Mosul
Kirkuk: Christians celebrate reopening of parish of the Blessed Virgin
Kirkuk: Young Christians and Muslims promote peace and interfaith dialogue
"Building bridges of peace", a project that unites Christians and Muslims in Kirkuk