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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 November 2007, 10:17 GMT
Turkish Christian priest abducted
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A priest from Turkey's Syriac Christian community has been kidnapped in the country's south-east, officials say.

Edip Daniel Savci's car was reportedly found abandoned near Midyat town in Mardin province on Wednesday.

A local clergyman had received a phone call demanding a ransom for his release, the Anatolia news agency said.

Attacks on Turkey's Christian minority have increased recently. A Catholic priest was shot dead last year and three Protestants were killed in April.

Five men accused of the attack on the Protestant missionaries went on trial in the town of Malatya last week.

Turkish police are working to secure the release of the missing priest, security officials said.

Turkey's Syriac Christian community numbers an estimated 25,000 people and is based mainly in Mardin, in the largely Kurdish south-east, and in Istanbul.

Syriac Christians are one of the faith's oldest denominations and are found in modern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.



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