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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Polish Priest Murdered in Tunisia

Roman Catholic Salesian missionary Father Marek Rybinski was found dead with his throat cut in Tunis on Friday. The Tunisian interior ministry says it believes he was murdered by “fascist terrorists”.

The ministry in the Tunisian capital “strongly condemned” the murder, adding that the perpetrators would be “severely punished”.

Father Rybinski, who was 34 years old, went missing on Thursday morning and after a search of the Salesian school in the Manouba district, police found his body in a storage room, his throat cut.

"Given the manner of his murder [we believe] that a group of fascist terrorists are behind the crime," the ministry said in a statement.

Rybinski’s family has been notified.

Police say that the priest is the second Christian religious figure to be killed during the social unrest which led up to and followed the ousting of President Ben Ali in January.

On 31 January, the Salesian missionary’s web site says the order in Tunis received death threats in an unsigned letter.

Father Rybinski worked in Tunisia for three years and had been a priest for five after being ordained in Lodz, central Poland. He served in the Salesian missionary centre in Warsaw and also worked for a year in the Olsztyn Salesian institution, where he prepared educational and volunteer mission trips.

The Salesian Society mission is the third largest Christian missionary organisation in the world.

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