Terrorists Bomb Christian Churches in Iraq, Killing 12
- Terrorists Bomb Christian Churches in Iraq, Killing 12
Webcast News Service, August 2, 2004
Islamic terrorists triggered a coordinated series of car bombs
outside five Iraqi churches in Baghdad and Mosul Sunday evening,
killing 12 people and wounding more than 50 in the most serious
assault on Iraq's Christian minority since the 15-month wave of
terrorist atrocities began.
Two of the bombed churches in Baghdad are within 500 yards of each
other in the upscale Karada neighborhood. The car bombs damaged not
just the churches but nearby buildings as well.
There was chaos outside as American and Iraqi soldiers tried to keep
the crowd clear of the scene, while distraught parishioners and
neighbors strained to find out the fate of their friends and
Until now, the 750,000-member Christian minority in Iraq has not been
directly attacked by insurgents. These bombs targeted four churches
in three different Baghdad neighborhoods and at least one church in
Mosul. A Muslim family living next door to one of the churches
accounted for five of those killed by the blast.
Despite the clear targeting of Christians in two different cities,
few of them appeared to believe that these attacks set them apart
from their non-Christian countrymen.
Some of the Iraqi soldiers assigned to secure the area are clearly
just as exasperated with the ongoing terrorist attacks. One soldier,
Raued Al-Asadi, issued a public plea to his countrymen.
"I want to ask all Iraqis, please help us," he said. "Please tell us
about the terrorists, because they are coming here to kill us and to
kill you." He says, "We should cooperate to control the situation.
Please help us."
Most Iraqi Christians belong to the Roman Catholic Church, but there
are also Orthodox worshipers, as well as Syrian and Armenian
Catholics, which are the two denominations whose churches were
attacked in Karada.