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24 December 2009

Iraq: Christian Churches Bombed as Christmas Eve Approaches

Asia News: Mosul attacks on two Christian churches, three dead and several injured
– “Two separate bombs struck this morning in Mosul, the Chaldean church of St. George and Syriac Orthodox Church of St. Thomas. The death toll so far is of three dead – a Chaldean Christian and two Muslims – and several wounded. Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, speaks to AsiaNews of  a ‘disturbing message’ ahead of Christmas, keeping tensions high as well as fear of further violence in northern Iraq. ”
– “Sources for AsiaNews in Mosul confirm that ‘the situation for Christians continues to worsen, given that the Christians buildings are again being targeted by terrorists.  The two churches hit are two old buildings, of great historical and cultural value’.”

Iraq: 2 killed in Iraq church bombing
– CNN:
“Two people were killed and five were wounded in an bombing near a Christian church in Mosul on Wednesday, an Interior Ministry official said.”
– “The explosive was hidden inside a handcart that was outside the church. It was not immediately clear if those killed were worshippers.”
– “This was the second bombing near a church in Mosul in a week. On December 15, four people were killed and 40 others were injured in a car bombing near a church in western Mosul.”

Deadly blast hits Iraq church in run-up to Christmas
— AFP reports
: “With Christmas just around the corner, a bomb attack on a church in the Iraqi city of Mosul killed two passersby and wounded five others, the sixth attack on Christians there in less than a month.”
— “The violence in the restive northern city comes after the Iraqi army said last week it had put its forces on alert in areas with significant Christian populations because of intelligence they could be attacked.”
— ” ‘Around 11 am (0800 GMT), a handcart used to carry flour, left across the street from the Syrian Orthodox church of St Thomas, exploded and caused damage’ to the building, witness Hamis Paulos said.”
— “A hospital official in Mosul, north of Baghdad, told AFP ‘the new toll is two dead and five wounded, because one of the injured died.’ ”
— “According to their identity cards, the two dead were Muslims.”

AP report: ” ‘Instead of performing Christmas Mass in this church, we will be busy removing rubble and debris,’ Hazim Ragheed, a priest at the church, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.”

Abbreviating Christmas in Iraq
— NYT reports:
“For Christians in Iraq, this will be a year of canceled holiday celebrations and of Christmas Masses spent under the protective watch of police officers and soldiers because of a spate of threats by extremist groups to bomb churches on Christmas Day.”
— ” ‘I’m very sad that we are not able to have our rituals for Christmas this year and not have a sermon, but we do not want any Christians to be harmed,’ said Edward Poles, a Christian priest at Sa’a Church in Mosul, which was bombed last week, though no one was killed.”

December 15, 2009: Bombs Kill Eight In Baghdad, Northern Iraq

Christian Church in Iraq (AFP)

Christian Church in Iraq (AFP)

Previous Attacks on churches "carry the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda" said an Iraqi general (AFP

Previous Attacks on churches "carry the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda" said an Iraqi general (AFP

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