Gunmen Kidnap Christian Students and Teacher in Iraq

( [email protected] ) Jun 20, 2007 05:04 AM EDT

Eight Christian university students and a lecturer were kidnapped in northern Iraq, Wednesday, police said.

The group was abducted from a bus east of the city of Mosul, after students were going home after completing exams.

The bus the students were riding in was stopped by several vehicles while kidnappers read a list of names of people they wanted to take from the bus.

Police did not intervene at the time of the abduction, according to Catholic-affiliated Asian News.

Two Christians were killed in the same neighborhood earlier. Last month, a Chaldean Catholic priest and three deacons were killed after gunmen ambushed their vehicle.

Militants have known to target Iraq’s shrinking Christian minority. Thousands of Christians have fled Iraq in recent years, joining more than 2 million Iraqis seeking shelter in neighbouring countries.

The Chaldean Catholic church is estimated to have around 600,00 to 700,000 followers who maintains full contact with the Catholic Church.