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Catholic World News News Feature

More violent assaults on Iraqi Christians June 07, 2007

Islamic militants stormed one Catholic church, killing security guards, and vandalized another church in Baghdad, according to a Vatican Radio report.

Several guards were reportedly killed in the assault on the parish church of St. John the Baptist in Baghdad on June 6. In a separate attack on the same day, terrorists damaged the church of St. James in a different section of Baghdad, and announced that they were converting the church into a mosque. St. James church had been the target of another violent attack in October 2004.

The attacks occurred on the day when Archbishp Faraj Rahho of Mosul presided at a funeral for Father Ragheed Ganni, the Chaldean Catholic priest who was killed on Sunday, June 3, along with three deacons from his parish.

Also on June 6, another priest, Father Hani Abdel Ahad, was kidnapped along with 5 young men who were accompanying him on a visit to a Baghdad seminary. AsiaNews reports that 4 of the young men were released on June 7; negotiations were underway for the release of the priest and his remaining companion.

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