Istanbul, Turkey, Feb 8, 2006 / 22:00 pm
The body of a murdered Italian priest arrived in Rome by military plane Monday.
Fr. Andrea Santaro, 60, was shot Sunday at his parish, Santa Maria Church, in the Black Sea port city of Trabzon, Turkey. Witnesses said the killer had screamed "Allahu Akbar," Arabic for "God is great," before firing two bullets into the priest’s back as he kneeled to pray, reported the Cihan News Agency.
The priest’s nephew, who was also killed, and a bishop from the Anatolian Churches Union also traveled to Rome.
Turkish police arrested a 16-year-old student Feb. 7 in connection with the murder. Prosecutor Burhan Cobanoglu said the suspect was captured while hiding at a relative’s home in Trabzon at around 3.30 a.m. local time. He was taken to police headquarters for interrogation. A nine-mm handgun during the raid and taken for laboratory tests, reported Cihan News Agency.