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Minorities in Iraq still targeted for attacks five years after invasion

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Five years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, minorities continue to be the victims of targeted attacks. In the past month alone endangered religious minorities – many of whom have been present in Iraq for millennia – have suffered tragic losses.

13 March 2008

Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, was found dead by church workers after he was abducted from the Church of the Holy Spirit in Mosul on 29 February. It is still not clear whether he was killed, or died of natural causes. No one has claimed responsibility for his death.

26 March 2008

According to Mandaean Crisis International, a missile was fired into a house in the city of Kut killing ten people and destroying the house, which was inhabited by two Mandaean families. Immediately after the attack, armed men looted the house of its contents. The source of the missile attack is unknown. The two families were among the only forty remaining Mandaean families in Kut and had recently received threats ordering them to leave the city and ‘join the refugees'.

5 April 2008

Father Adel Youssef, an Assyrian Orthodox priest, was killed in a drive-by shooting near his home in the Baghdad's Karrada district.

Find out more about Iraq's threatened minorities at MRG's World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples.

Read MRG's 2007 report Assimilation, Exodus, Eradication: Iraq's minority communities since 2003

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