08/29/2010, 00.00
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Mosul Catholic killed after kidnapping. The family had paid a ransom

The family are delivered a corpse after paying 15,000 dollars ransom. For Islamic extremists to kill a Christian during the holy month of Ramadan is a meritorious action. Concerns about widespread insecurity, after the withdrawal of Americans and the lack of a government more than five months after the elections.

Mosul (AsiaNews) - A Syrian Catholic Christian, who was abducted a week ago, was killed despite the fact that the family had paid a ransom of 15 thousand US dollars. Local sources have informed AsiaNews that yesterday the corpse was delivered to Karakosh, where the family had emigrated in order to escape violence. The same source commented: "For the Muslim extremists, killing a Christian in the period of Ramadan is a worthy action before God".

Louyaé Behnam, 35, was a native of Mosul, where until a few years ago he ran a glazier shop. For security reasons, he moved along with his family to Karakosh - Baghdeeda 30 km from Mosul. The predominantly Christian city is located in the district of Karakosh (Nineveh Plain), and home to many Christian refugees from Mosul and Baghdad.

Behnam was kidnapped last August 25 in Karakosh - Baghdeeda by a group of armed men, who immediately after the abduction demanded a ransom of 15 thousand dollars. The family had paid the sum and had waited all these days for his release.

Northern Iraq has long been the site of targeted attacks against the Christian community by extremists and criminals, gangs.

The withdrawal of the last contingent of U.S. troops at the end of “Operation Iraqi Freedom "- which officially ends on August 31 – has increased the climate of general insecurity, which is worsened by the fact that Iraq has been waiting for over 6 months for the formation of a government after the March elections.

"These acts - sources tell AsiaNews - are abominable because they are an affront to all humanity and all religions. To Islamic extremists, killing a Christian in the period of Ramadan is an action worthy before God.  It is a jihad [holy war] against those who do not believe in the perfect and absolute religion, which for them is Islam".

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See also
Mosul, fresh anti Christian violence. Murder and torture
Karakosh - Baghdeeda: a Christian originally from Mosul is kidnapped
Kirkuk: Christian doctor, held by kidnappers for a month, is freed
Kirkuk: kidnapped Christian freed after family pays ransom
Arrested in Kirkuk a gang specialised in kidnapping Christian doctors


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