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Gunmen Kidnap the Catholic Archbishop of Mosul as Pre-election Violence Flares in Iraq

A 66-year-old Catholic archbishop was abducted by masked gunmen on Monday in a spasm of violence that jolted Iraq end to end and increased the air of uncertainty leading up to the Jan. 30 elections. Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa of Mosul, a crime-ridden city in northern Iraq, was walking in front of his Syrian Catholic church in a Christian neighborhood when a group of insurgents pushed him into a car at gunpoint, several members of Mosul’s large Christian population said. The news quickly reached the Vatican, which issued a statement condemning the abduction. “The Holy See deplores in the firmest, most determined way, this terrorist act,” said the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, a Vatican spokesman.Full Story

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