Emotional Funeral for Assyrian Murdered By Kurds in Iraq

Bartilla, North Iraq (AINA) -- In an intensely emotional procession, approximately 1000 Assyrians (also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs) marched in the funeral of Matthew Simon (Mattai Shamoun) Zora Sha'ya, who was murdered on August 26 by Kurds.

On August 26 37 year old Nabil Akram Ammona, a resident of Bartilla, was shot twice in the head by Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) paramilitaries while filling his automobile with gasoline (AINA, 8-27-2005). A group of armed KDP security wearing Iraqi National Guard (ING) emblems drove up to Mr. Amona and forcibly took away the gas nozzle he was using. A bewildered and irritated Mr. Amona protested. Instantly, one of the KDP thugs fired two shots execution style into Mr. Amona's head.Mr. Amona died instantly as he slumped into a pool of his own blood.

Local residents were shocked and terrified. Only one, Mr. Mattai Shamoun Zora Sha'ya rushed over to assist and comfort Mr. Amona. The moment he approached, the same Kurd shot Mr. Sha'ya twice in the head as well. Mr. Sha'ya, a father of four, is the nephew of the Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Mar Matti Monastery and is currently in critical condition. He is not expected to survive.

Eyewitnesses at the scene reported that the assailants spoke Kurdish. The same KDP attackers were previously known to have stolen gasoline from the same station for later sale on the black market for their own personal gain. Previous attempts by Assyrian Christians to appeal to the occupying KDP leaders have gone unheeded and unanswered.

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