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Iraqi Christian killed-- in region proposed as safe haven

Catholic World News - August 30, 2010

The murder of another Iraqi Christian from Mosul has renewed fears in that city, where the Christian minority has been the target of a series of targeted killings.

Louyaé Behnam was abducted last week from his home in Karkosh, a town in the Nineveh district. Ironically, his family had moved to Karkosh to escape the violence in his native Mosul. The Islamic group that kidnapped him demanded ransom. His family paid $15,000—only to have his dead body returned.

This latest in a series of murderous assaults is particularly significant for two reasons. First, it comes almost immediately after the withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraq, as the country’s residents worry about their prospects for future security. Second, the victim was abducted from the Nineveh Plains region, which has been suggested as a safe refuge for the country’s Christian minority. Catholic Church leaders have opposed suggestions that Christians should move to Nineveh, saying that the religious minority would then become an even more promising target for extremists.

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