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» 02/16/2010
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.

Mosul (AsiaNews) - In just over 24 hours two Christian businessmen have been killed, one wounded and a fourth kidnapped, for whose release the kidnappers have asked for a "large sum of money." The streak of blood and violence against the Christian community in Mosul in northern Iraq shows no sign of abating as it comes under attack from armed gangs and abandoned by local authorities once again, as a local source told AsiaNews, "they do nothing to defend us."

Yesterday a Christian fruit vendor was killed in the district 17 Tammouz. The man, Najim Abdullah Fatoukhi of 42 years, was shot to death in front of his shop. The attackers fired from a car, and got away undisturbed.  

The previous day, Sunday, February 14, Rayan Bashir Salem was killed. An armed commando entered the man's house in the neighbourhood of Al Mishraq, and shot him at point blank range. In the ambush his brother, Thair was wounded. The victim, also a merchant, owned a frozen goods store.  

Finally, on 13 February, a gang kidnapped Sabah al Dahhan. Local sources said the kidnappers have demanded "a high amount of money" for his release.

Sources for AsiaNews in Mosul, asking for anonymity for security reasons, said the "persecution continues in complete indifference" and added that "Christians are living in a state of panic and are trying to leave the city.  

Christians are convinced that "these are not normal criminals" behind the attacks and that there are "specific political plans": the creation of a Christian enclave in the plain of Nineveh and the government "does nothing to counter it."  

A high-profile Christian political figure in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, explains that "even the attacks in Baghdad" in the recent past - which caused hundreds of dead or injured - are related to "project for an area to pen up the Christian community" .


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See also
06/08/2007 IRAQ
Kidnapped Chaldean Priest : No to the Niniveh plain ethnic project
by Saad Hanna Sirop*
07/20/2009 IRAQ
Bishop of Baghdad: "Christians, do not be afraid", but the fear of a new exodus remains
06/27/2007 IRAQ
Two Christians abducted in Mosul a week ago are freed
08/26/2010 IRAQ
Karakosh - Baghdeeda: a Christian originally from Mosul is kidnapped
12/30/2009 IRAQ
Christian student kidnapped by Islamic group in Mosul

Editor's choices
VATICAN
"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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