February 29, 2008

Iraqi Archbishop Kidnapped in Mosul

Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Mosul, Iraq, was abducted earlier today after an ambush in which three of his aides were killed. Via BBC:

Archbishop Rahho had just left the Church of the Holy Spirit in Mosul, where he had been leading afternoon prayers, when his car was ambushed by armed men, a church spokesman said.

The gunmen opened fire on the car, killing his two companions and driver, before kidnapping the archbishop, he added.

Bishop Rabban al-Qas of the nearby city of Irbil said his 65-year-old colleague, who was ordained archbishop of Mosul in 2001, was "in the hands of terrorists".

"But we don't know what physical condition [he is in]," he told the Rome-based Catholic news service, AsiaNews.

"It's a terrible time for our church - pray for us," he added.

The kidnappers have reportedly communicated their demands, but these have not been made public.

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