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    » 11/01/2010, 00.00

    IRAQ-EGYPT

    Al Qaeda claims responsibility for Baghdad attacks, threats to the Copts



    An Iraqi group linked to Al Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) claimed responsibility for the attack yesterday on a Catholic church, and threatens the Coptic Church of Egypt, giving a ultimatum of 48 hours to "free" two women who were converted to Islam.

    Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - An Iraqi group linked to Al Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) claimed responsibility for the attack yesterday in an Eastern-rite Catholic church in Baghdad (where the faithful killed were 37, seven policemen and five terrorists) and also gave an ultimatum of 48 hours to the Coptic Church of Egypt, to free two wives of priests who (according to the terrorists) are "imprisoned in monasteries" because, they converted to Islam.

    This according to reports from the American centre for monitoring Islamist websites SITE. "A group of angered Mujahideen among the faithful Allah - according to a statement from the terrorist group - has carried out a raid on one of the shelters of obscene idolatry, which had always been used by Christians of Iraq as a headquarters for the fight against the religion of Islam and which supports those who fight this religion. " The Islamic State of Iraq said the attack on the church, was "to help our poor Muslim sisters prisoners in the Muslim country of Egypt." The ISI has given the Egyptian Coptic Church 48 hours to free these women "imprisoned in infidel  monasteries of in idolatrous churches in Egypt."

    According to SITE, the Iraqi terrorists in their threat to Egyptian Copts refer to two Coptic priests' wives, who are reportedly segregated in religious structures because one has apparently converted to Islam and the other would have expressed her intention to follow suit. The ISI posted an internet message attributed to the head of the suicide commandos in Baghdad that threatens Egyptian Christians and identifies the women as Camellia Shehata and Wafa Constantine.

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    See also

    03/11/2010 IRAQ
    Al Qaeda threat: Christians are legitimate targets
    The authors of the terrorist massacre in the Baghdad church publish a message on the internet that is a threat to all Christians, and make explicit reference to the Vatican.

    01/11/2010 IRAQ
    Al Qaeda attack on Baghdad church ends in massacre
    Terrorists detonate a car bomb and occupy the building. The security forces attack: initial death toll at least 55 deaths in raid against Al Qaeda cell among the faithful present at Mass in the church of Our Lady of Salvation. Seven soldiers and five terrorists killed.

    02/01/2011 VATICAN-EGYPT-IRAQ
    Pope: The attacks in Egypt and Iraq are an offense against God and humanity
    Benedict expresses his sorrow for the killing of the Coptic faithful in Alexandria and bombs against the homes of Christians in Baghdad. A "strategy of violence that has targeted Christians." The Pope appeals to Christians for a non-violent response. A message for the Spanish Church gathered in Madrid for "The Christian family, hope for Europe."

    20/03/2008 IRAQ
    Chaldean Christians, after five years the crestfallen dream of Iraq
    Five years after the American invasion of Iraq, we publish the testimony sent to AsiaNews by a Chaldean Christian in Mosul. The community is still in shock over the loss of its pastor, Archbishop Rahho, killed by his kidnappers this month. The questions that still surround what is today the last stronghold of al Qaeda in Iraq.

    02/11/2010 IRAQ-EGYPT
    Cairo rejects Al Qaeda ultimatum and denies "conversion" of the two women
    Egypt has rejected the request of the alleged terrorists who demand the "release" of two Muslim women, who according to Al Qaeda are being forcibly held in monasteries in the country.



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