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Explosion rocks Iraq church

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  • John Brian
    Explosion rocks Iraq church August 2 2011 at 10:18am [photo: Iraqi firefighters extinguish flames after an early morning car bomb attack in front of a
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 5, 2011
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      Explosion rocks Iraq church


      August 2 2011 at 10:18am


      [photo: Iraqi firefighters extinguish flames after an early morning car bomb
      attack in front of a Christian church, in Kirkuk.]

      Kirkuk, Iraq - Fifteen people were wounded on Tuesday by a car bomb
      targeting a Syrian Orthodox church in Kirkuk in northern Iraq, a police
      officer and a priest said.

      The bomb exploded at the Holy Family church in the north of Kirkuk at about
      5.30am (02.30 GMT), wounding 15 people including church staff and people in
      neighbouring houses, the high-ranking officer in the Kirkuk police said.

      The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that 30 homes in the
      area were damaged.

      Imad Hanna, a priest, said it was the first time the church had been
      targeted.

      "Women, children and men from this neighbourhood were wounded in the
      explosion," he said, added that two of the wounded were in critical
      condition.

      The wounded were taken to Kirkuk General and Azadi hospitals, he added.

      An AFP correspondent said that the doors, windows and generators at the
      church were destroyed, as well as pews inside.

      Some cars in the area were also destroyed, he said.

      Ethnically divided Kirkuk lies at the centre of a tract of territory which
      Kurdish leaders want to incorporate in their autonomous region in the north
      over the opposition of many of the province's Arab and Turkmen residents and
      of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

      The number of Iraqi Christians has dwindled to about 400 000 from an
      estimated figure of between 800 000 and 1.2 million before the 2003 US-led
      invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

      Most of them live in Baghdad, Kirkuk, the area surrounding the northern city
      of Mosul and parts of the autonomous Kurdistan region in the north of Iraq.

      On October 31, 2010, militants stormed Our Lady of Salvation church in
      central Baghdad, leaving 44 worshippers, two priests and seven security
      force personnel dead, in an attack claimed by al-Qaeda's local affiliate,
      the Islamic State of Iraq.

      It was the worst attack against Iraq's Christian community since 2003, and
      countless members of the minority have since fled the country.

      - Sapa-AFP

      http://www.iol.co.za/news/world/explosion-rocks-iraq-church-1.1110269



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