A high profile official from Iraq’s Assyrian Christian community and former deputy director of Iraqi Airways has been shot and killed by militants near his home in Baghdad. Isaac Esho Alhelani graduated from an aircraft engineering school in Scotland in the early 1960s.
His murder has underscored growing concerns among Iraqi Christians about their future amid growing sectarian strife. Several Christians, including church leaders, have been killed or kidnapped in recent months. Thousands of believers have fled and the country has currently about 450,000 Christians, down from about 750,000 thousand when the war began in 2003.
Muslim militants often view Christians as close to the US-led troops in Iraq. Christians are also kidnapped by militants for money reasons as many of them are enterpreneurs, Christian rights groups say.