Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christians bombed in Iraq on Christmas Day, at least 20 killed-BBC

12/25/13, "Christians targeted by Baghdad bombs," BBC

"A car bomb near a church in Baghdad has killed at least 15 people and wounded 28 others, as Iraqi Christians celebrated Christmas, officials say. The device went off outside a Catholic church when worshippers were leaving a Christmas Day service. 

Another bomb at a nearby market in a mainly Christian area killed six more people and left 14 people hurt.

Iraq's ancient Christian community has more than halved in recent years, from an estimated population of 900,000.

Both blasts happened in the Dora area of Baghdad. The bomb outside St John's Catholic church exploded in a parked car, shortly after an explosion at an outdoor market in the mainly Christian al-Athorien district.

No-one has yet admitted carrying out the attacks, which came as Christmas Day services were held across Iraq.

During a service at St Joseph Chaldean church in the Karrada area of the capital, Father Saad Seroub called for peace and security for all Iraqis.

Churches have been targeted across the country since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. 

An attack by gunmen in 2010 on the Catholic Cathedral in Baghdad left more than 50 people dead.

A surge in sectarian violence this year has claimed the lives of more than 7,000 civilians in Iraq, the highest annual number of fatalities since 2008.

Most of the attacks have targeted Shia civilians and the smaller Sunni population.

The bloodshed escalated in April, after the army raided a Sunni anti-government protest camp."...


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