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In Mosul , Fresh Anti-Christian Violence: Murder and Torture

ICC Note

Iraqi Christians are still targeted for murder and torture by extremists and criminal gangs. The violence against Christians can explode any time, according to this report.

01/16/2009 Iraq (Asia News) – The lifeless body of a young Christian was found yesterday by the army in Mosul ( Northern Iraq ). The abandoned body uncovered in a street in the east of the city was that of 36 year old Chourik Bagrad.

AsiaNews sources in Mosul – a city with one and a half million inhabitants, 360 km north of Baghdad – confirmed that it was a an execution style killing: multiple gunshot wounds to the head. His body was later discarded in al-Bakr district, where it was found by police and brought to the morgue for an autopsy. Chourik Bagrad was a Christian from the Armenian Church and his brother works in Mosul University .

The same sources refer that a Christian was also kidnapped New Years Eve in Mosul . The man, whose name we choose not to publish for security reasons, was kidnapped and held hostage for four days. He was only freed after the payment of 50 thousand dollars ransom. During his detention he was tortured over and over again. “If we hadn’t paid the ransom – the source confirms – they would certainly have killed him. They are criminal gangs, who kidnap for money. The want the Christian’s money”.

Despite government claims and reports proclaiming that security standards have improved, Mosul remains “a volcano ready to explode at any moment”.

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