Kidnapped Christian’s body found in Iraq

Baghdad, July 12 (IANS/AKI) The body of an Iraqi Christian has been found inside a truck he was driving when he was abducted near Baghdad.

Assyrian Christian news agency AINA said the body was found in al-Tarmiyah area in the north of Baghdad. The man was abducted May 27.

Police said they believed the body was that of Salem Dawood Coca, from Betnaya in the multi-ethnic northern Nineveh province.

The man was killed when he refused to carry out a suicide bombing, as the truck was rigged with explosives, police said.

The kidnappers contacted Coca’s family but did not demand a ransom, and called him a “Christian infidel”, the report said.

Thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled the country amid sectarian violence that has flared since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

There are only an estimated 330,000 to 350,000 Christians left in Iraq, compared to around 1.2 million in the early 1990s.