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The Dispatch: More from CWR
Amnesty International reports on IS “ethnic cleansing on a historic scale.”
Christina Khider Abada, 3, as seen on a poster Aug. 28. (CNS photo/(CNS photo/Sahar Mansour)

From Catholic News Service comes this story of an Iraqi Christian woman who says Islamic State militants snatched her three-year-old daughter while the child sat next to her on a bus August 24.

The abduction was described in an Amnesty International report issued yesterday, which calls IS activities in Northern Iraq “ethnic cleansing on a historic scale.” “Amnesty International has found that the IS has systematically targeted non-Arab and non-Sunni Muslim communities, killing or abducting hundreds, possibly thousands, and forcing more than 830,000 others to flee the areas it has captured since 10 June 2014,” the report summary states.

From CNS’ Simon Caldwell:

Christina Khider Abada was seated beside her mother, Ayda Abada, on a bus when captors from the Islamic State snatched her and took her away.

According to an account by the mother, who followed her daughter off the bus, the crying child was passed from one militant to another while Ayda Abada begged for her to be returned. ...

Fellow refugee Sahar Mansour interviewed Ayda Abada and her husband, Khider Abada, as they circulated pictures of their daughter in Ankawa refugee camp, near Irbil, Iraq, in the hope of gaining information about the toddler's whereabouts. …

In her email, Mansour reported that the mother said she seated Christina beside her, but recalled, "then one of ISIS men came and had a look over the bus and saw my daughter Christina."

"He took her out of the bus and ISIS man went to the direction of the health center," Ayda Abada told Mansour.

"Then later, another older man from the terrorists came from the health center and was carrying Christina, and came straight to me and asked me: 'Is this your daughter?'" Ayda Abada continued.

"I said yes. Both of us, Christina and myself, were crying. I asked them many times that Christina is a little baby and she is innocent, she is just a little baby girl, and I pleaded (with) them and begged his mercy to allow my child to return to me," she told Mansour.

"I told them that she is very little, (and asked) what kind of crime she had done," she said. "Then the ISIS men told me in aggressive way: 'If you want your daughter, we will kill you. Then these men put the gun to my head and with violent tone forced me to get back in the bus."

She added: "My heart was with my daughter ... I do not know how to live without my child Christina, but ISIS men forced me to go back into the bus. All the time my heart and thought were with my daughter, Christina."


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Catherine Harmon

Catherine Harmon is managing editor of Catholic World Report.
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