(dpa) - Iraqi police said Friday that had not yet determined how Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was killed, one day after the cleric's body was found following his abduction two weeks ago.
The archbishop had not been shot to death, a police spokesman said in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, where the archbishop had been posted.
Rahho was in Mosul on February 29, and his death had prompted widespread condemnation by the Vatican as well as international clerics and politicians.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani Thursday called the killing a horrific murder, while Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki vowed that the perpetrators would not escape justice.
Church circles had initially reported high ransom demands following the abduction.
President of Iraq's Kurdish Autonomous Region, Massoud Barzani, condemned the killing, stating that Rahho's death marks "an assault on all religious constituents in Iraq.
"We strongly condemn the killing of the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Mosul and we believe that this terrorist act is against the heritage of religious, social and national tolerance," Barzani said.
He added that Kurdish leaders and religious figures will gather in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul Friday to attend the funeral procession of Rahho.
Meanwhile, Iraqi parliamentarians expressed sorrow over the death and accused the al-Qaeda terrorist network of the killing, the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency said.
Member of the Iraqi Accordance Front Khalaf al-Ayan told VOI that the act was aimed at causing a sectarian strife amongst the Iraqi people.
He stressed that whoever perpetrated the killing of the archbishop "must be belonging to an illegal group that disregards religious and humanitarian values."
The Sadrist movement described the murder as "a barbarian and coward action," claiming that the al-Qaeda terrorists were responsible.