Iraqi Christian Priest Killed in Baghdad

yousifaboudi.jpgAuthorities in Iraq say a Christian priest has been killed in a drive-by shooting in Baghdad Saturday.
Youssef Adel was leaving his house in central Baghdad when a group of men in a speeding car opened fire as they drove past.

Christians – a minority in the predominately Islamic nation – have come under frequent attack in Iraq in recent months. The body of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, an Iraqi Chaldean Catholic, was found last month in Mosul, days after he was kidnapped.

Meanwhile, at least three people have been killed and at least 15 others wounded when a bomb planted on a minibus exploded earlier Saturday in Baghdad.

Baghdad has been plagued by a surge in violence after months of relative security following an increase of U.S. troops in Iraq. At least 20 people were killed and 20 others wounded Friday when a suicide bomber struck a funeral north of Baghdad.

Friday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered his forces to stop raids against suspected Shi’ite militants. He also offered an amnesty to those who took part in last week’s Basra violence, if they lay down their weapons.

The southern city of Basra was the scene of recent deadly clashes between Iraqi security forces and Shi’ite militias loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.