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    » 05/30/2011, 00.00

    IRAQ

    Othodox Christian shot to death in Mosul



    Arkan Jihad Yacob, vice director of a cement factory, was married and a father of four. Twice before he had escaped kidnapping attempts, but this time, his attackers were able to stop and kill him on his way to work. The guns used had silencers. Fear continues to grip the Christian community.
    Mosul (AsiaNews) – Iraq’s Christian community has been the victim of another targeted killing. This morning, an Orthodox Christian was killed in Mosul, northern Iraq. The dead man had been the victim of two attempted ransom abductions in the past, but in both cases, he was able to escape from his attackers. This time, the murderers waited for him as he went to work, firing at him several times in cold blood.

    Sources, on condition of anonymity for security reasons, told AsiaNews that Arkan Jihad Yacob was an Orthodox Christian, and the vice director of a cement factory.

    Born in 1948 in Mosul, the married father of four was the victim of two previous abduction attempts, ostensibly to extort ransom from his family. In both cases, he was quick enough to thwart his attackers.

    This morning however, the men who went after him meant to kill and they succeeded. Arkan Jihad Yacob was shot several times as he made his way to work in an execution-style cold-blooded murder. His killers used a silencer.

    The local community took part in Arkan’s funeral in Mosul’s Syro-Orthodox cathedral. With his death, Iraqi Christians find themselves again under attack from Muslim extremists.

    The previous incident goes back to 16 May, in Kirkuk, when the body of a Christian man was found. He had been killed after being abducted, his body mutilated, because his family could raise US$ 10,000 to pay for the ransom (see “Kirkuk: young Christian abducted, tortured and beheaded,” in AsiaNews, 16 May 2011).

    Speaking to AsiaNews, sources in Iraq say that Christians continue to endure an atmosphere of tensions and fear, as they continue to be targeted for abductions, which end in blood when they are unsuccessful. (DS)

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    See also

    16/05/2011 IRAQ
    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”.

    08/10/2008 IRAQ
    Mosul, martyrdom of Iraqi Christians continues
    Yesterday, three more victims - including a father and son - were killed by fundamentalists because they were guilty of "being Christian" in a country where a "systematic persecution" is now underway against non-Muslims. A source denounces "the silence" of the Iraqi media, and the inaction of the international community.

    11/10/2006 IRAQ
    Abducted and raped, young Christian women and girls are driven to suicide in Iraq
    Iraq's abduction industry does not spare young women and girls. Despite being released, some are unable to cope with the violence they experienced and kill themselves. In Mosul a Syrian Orthodox priest is kidnapped.

    08/06/2007 IRAQ
    Kidnapped Chaldean Priest : No to the Niniveh plain ethnic project
    Opposition to the “Assyrian” ghetto to save Iraq’s persecuted Christians today finds a qualified representative: Fr. Saad Hanna Sirop, one of the first Chaldean priests to have been kidnapped in Baghdad, and for whose release Benedict XVI intervened. A victim of Iraq’s violent anti Christian persecution, he too views the idea of an ethnic-religious enclave as diametrically opposed to Iraq’s history and the purpose of evangelization. Moreover, Fr. Saad maintains that the project’s real aim is not protection of the Chaldean and Assyrian Christians, but to protect ambitious “personal and economic interests”.

    17/02/2011 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.



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