Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Christian Killed in Northern Iraqi City


[The Christian Post] 20 Jan 2009--The Christian owner of a car repair shop was killed execution-style in Mosul, police said Saturday, raising concern about the possibility of new attacks against the religious minority in the northern Iraqi city.

The body of the 36-year-old man, who was shot in the head, was found Thursday, according to police and hospital officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Another Christian man, an engineer in the city's water department, was kidnapped in early January but was released four days later after his family paid a $50,000 ransom.

Nobody claimed responsibility for the killing or the kidnapping, but they followed a pattern of violence and intimidation that sent thousands of Christians fleeing from their homes in Mosul in the fall.

Bassem Balu, an official with the Democratic Assyrian Movement, sought to maintain calm, saying the motives for this week's killing were not yet known. The movement is the largest Christian party.

"For the time being, I do not think that this will slow the return of the Christians to Mosul," he said. "I hope that this murder won't signal the start of a new campaign against the Christians in Mosul."

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