Bombs kill six Baghdad Christians, sow panic
A string of anti-Christian bombings has cost six more lives in the wake of the Baghdad church bloodbath, sowing panic in Iraq’s 2,000-year-old minority on Wednesday, many of whom now want to flee.
“Since Tuesday evening, there have been 13 bombs and two mortar attacks on homes and shops of Christians in which a total of six people were killed and 33 injured,” a defence ministry official said. “A church was also damaged.”
An interior ministry official earlier gave a casualty toll of three dead in 12 of the attacks across the Iraqi capital early on Wednesday.
The attacks come less than two weeks after 44 Christian worshippers, two priests and seven security personnel died in the seizure of a Baghdad cathedral by Islamist gunmen and the ensuing shootout when it was stormed by troops.
On November 3, Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the cathedral hostage-taking and warned it would step up attacks on Christians.
As Christian converged on their churches on Wednesday to seek counsel from their religious leaders, a Syriac Catholic archbishop made an emotional appeal for Western countries to come to their rescue.
“It would be criminal on the part of the international community not to take care of the security of the Christians,” Athanase Matti Shaba Matoka said inside the church targeted on October 31 where he tried to console his flock.
“Everybody is scared,” he said. “People are asking who is going to protect them, how are they going to stay on in Iraq. We are trying to encourage them to stay patient.”