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Gunmen have kidnapped the archbishop of the Chaldean Catholic Church in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and killed three of his aides, his church says.
Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was seized as he left a church in the eastern al-Nour district, it added.
Pope Benedict XVI deplored the kidnapping as a "despicable" crime.
Most of Iraq's estimated 700,000 Christians are Chaldeans - Catholics who are autonomous from Rome but recognise the Pope's authority.
Originally posted by RedGolem
reply to post by _Phoenix_
not that I can speak for the Pope but I think he would deplore the kid napping of any of those who work at his direction.
It says that what the kidnappers want has not been reliced. That leads me to think they want money. If they just wanted to kill Christians he will already be dead.
The body of Paulos Faraj Rahho, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Mosul, was found in a shallow grave in the city after a tip-off from his captors.
Pope Benedict XVI said he was deeply moved and saddened, calling the death an act of inhuman violence.
Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki said it was a horrible crime aimed at stirring strife between Iraq's religious communities.