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Vatican paper urges action against Iraqi terrorists

Responding to news that another American hostage has been killed, the official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has called upon international leaders to work urgently for stability in Iraq.

Catholic World News reports that the Vatican paper said in today's issue that Iraq has become a "place of nightmares" in which "atrocities are evidently being perpetrated to fulfill a precise media strategy".

The comment was a reference to the Internet release of video footage that appeared to show the execution-style killing of Eugene Armstrong, the American hostage.

The terrorist strategy is to use grisly displays on the media to cause "panic, insecurity, and deeper divisions" among international leaders, L'Osservatore argued. The paper condemned the public showing of the terrorists' murders.

The terrorist group led by al Zarkawi has also announced the murder of another American hostage, Jack Hensley. US officials confirmed the report early today Australian time.

In Baghdad, Chaldean Catholic Bishop Shlemon Warduni admitted that he is apprehensive because of the lack of news about Simona Pari and Simona Torreta, two Italian women who were kidnapped last week. Wire services this morning are claiming that the women have been killed.

"The silence about the Italian hostages is strange, and we don't understand the reason," the Chaldean auxiliary bishop said. "We don't know anything about them, and we don't have any resource to obtain the release of the hostages; we don't know what to do."

He noted that since the Islamic terrorists have ignored the appeals of Muslim clerics for the freedom of the hostages, the pleas of the Catholic Church are not likely to be honored.

Vatican paper urges action against Iraqi terrorists (Catholic World News 22/9/04)

Di fronte al dilagare del terrorismo occorre individuare strumenti efficaci (L'Osservatore Roman 23/9/04)
UK hostage pleads for his life (BBC 22/9/04)
Iraq: Hostage Drama Continues As Another Beheaded Body Is Found (Radio Free Europe 22/9/04)
'Terrible dilemma' over hostages (BBC 21/9/04)
Cardinal Sodano urges support for Iraq (Catholic World News 22/9/04)

23 Sep 2004