The Catholic archbishop kidnapped in the Iraqi city of Mosul has been released by his captors. The archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa, had been
abducted at gunpoint yesterday as he walked in front of his church. The Vatican has confirmed that they received a ransom note demanding the sum of
$200,000. The Vatican denies that it was payed. Casmoussa was released unharmed.
MOSUL, Iraq - A Catholic archbishop kidnapped in northern Iraq was freed Tuesday without any ransom being paid, a day after he was seized by gunmen,
the Vatican said.
Pope John Paul II, who had prayed for the bishop's release, was informed immediately of the release, said papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls.
"He changed his prayer to one of thanks," Navarro-Valls said.
The Vatican's confirmation of the release of Basile Georges Casmoussa, 66, of the Syrian Catholic Church, one of the branches of the Roman Catholic
Church, came shortly after one of his assistants in Iraq had announced his release.
"He has been freed and he is on his way home without paying any ransom," said Potris Moshi, an assistant to the church leader.
The Vatican had branded the kidnapping a "despicable terrorist act" and demanded that he be freed. The Vatican said that a ransom of $200,000 had been
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There is two ways to look at this whole kidnapping. One, he was taken for money. Such kidnappings are common crimes it seems in Iraq and the people
perpetrating this have no political agenda other than money. Two, it was one of the terrorist groups, most likely the non bin laden aligned, and they
realize that the potential backlash was way too high. Either way it is good to see him released and unharmed.
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