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Iraqi Christian Priest Killed in Baghdad


Iraqi police say an Assyrian Orthodox priest has been killed in a drive-by shooting in Baghdad - the latest attack on Iraq's Christian minority.

Sources say Youssef Adel was leaving his house in central Baghdad when a group of men in a speeding car opened fire Saturday as they drove past.

Pope Benedict expressed sorrow over the killing. In a telegram, he said he prayed that the Iraqi people find peace to build a tolerant society.

Christians 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.

Elsewhere Saturday in Baghdad, at least three people were killed and at least 15 others wounded when a bomb planted on a minibus exploded.

Baghdad has been plagued by a surge in violence after months of relative security following an increase in U.S. troops in Iraq.

In other news, the U.S. military says a coalition airstrike in support of Iraqi security forces in the southern city of Basra has killed an armed criminal.

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

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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