The Catholic archbishop of Mosul was kidnapped by insurgents yesterday. Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa, 66, leader of the city's Syrian Catholic community, was seized by gunmen outside his church at around 5pm local time as he was about to enter his car. A witness said the kidnappers forced the Archbishop into the trunk of their vehicle before speeding away. The Vatican said in a statement that it deplored "in the firmest way such a terrorist act", and asked that the archbishop be freed immediately. There have been a number of attacks on Iraq's Christian minority in recent months. Two churches were bombed in Mosul in December. Christians make up some 3% of Iraq's population of about 25 million.