01/17/2008, 00.00
IRAQ
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Another attack against a church in Mosul

The car bomb struck the Chaldean church of the Immaculate Virgin, in the ancient part of the city. Two persons were wounded. It is the fourth attack against Christian targets in Mosul in just 11 days. The Shiite community was also struck: suicide bombers killed 10 among the faithful on pilgrimage for the Ashura.

Mosul (AsiaNews) - Another car bomb against a church in Mosul. This time, the target of the attack was the Chaldean church of the Immaculate Virgin, in the ancient part of the city. The news comes from an Arabic language website, Ankawa.com. The explosion happened at about 6:30 p.m. (local time) and wounded two: a woman and a policeman.

At this time it is not known how much damage was done to the church building, which stands on the foundation of what was the most ancient Christian church in Mosul. A short distance from the church is the old Chaldean episcopal residence, which was attacked in 2004. Only 11 days ago, the city, which is the capital of the province of Nineveh, was together with Baghdad the setting of a series of coordinated bombing attacks.  The sites struck last January 6 were: the Chaldean church of Saint Paul, which was almost destroyed; the entrance to the orphanage run by the Chaldean sisters in Alnoor; a Nestorian church; and the convent of the Dominican sisters of Mosul Jadida.

On that occasion, the Chaldean bishop of Kirkuk had spoken of "a precise message, and probably a coordinated plan" directed against the Christian community. Three days later, on January 9, Kirkuk was struck as well:  car bombs exploded at the Chaldean cathedral of the Sacred Heart, and at the Syriac Orthodox church of Saint Ephrem.

Today also saw a serious attack against another place of worship, but a Muslim one. A suicide bomber killed 10 person during the Shitte celebrations for Ashura in Baquba, northeast of Baghdad. The attacker - according Iraqi police sources - detonated the explosive vest that he was wearing in the middle of a procession of the faithful, who were coming out of a Shiite mosque in the city. About 10 persons were wounded in the explosion. This was the first attack against the Shiites since, last January 12, celebrations began throughout Iraq for Ashura, which commemorates the death of Imam Hussein in the year 680.

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