The Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Basile Georges Casmoussa, has been released within a day of his capture. The 66-year-old had been kidnapped as he was on his way to visit families from his congregation on Monday. The kidnappers had asked for a $200,000 ransom, just over 150,000 euros. But the Vatican called for his immediate release and deplored what it branded an act of terrorism.
He was believed to be the highest-ranking Catholic prelate to be abducted in Iraq. In Baghdad, meanwhile, a suicide bomber has attacked an office used by a Shi’ite party killing three other people, four people were injured.
The attacker drove to a checkpoint outside the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and said he was one of the party’s security guards. The party was at the forefront of the Shi’ite struggle against Saddam Hussein and many of its key figures fled to Iran, returning after the regime fell. The party is expected to do well in Iraq’s election in 12 days time.