» 05/03/2010, 00.00
Car bomb targets Christian student’s bus near Mosul
The toll is one dead and 100 wounded. For over five years the University of Mosul has been in the sights of Islamic extremists who want to convert students and kill the girls who do not wear the veil.
Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Another targeted attack on the Christian minority. Iraqi police said the two attacks took place yesterday in the north, where the community decimated by years of religious persecution now live en masse. The attackers used a car bomb and improvised explosive device, detonated by the passage of buses carrying students residing in the town of Hamdaniya, 40 km east of Mosul. The toll is of 100 wounded and one person dead, a Christian, owner of a shop located near the site of the explosions.
The students, all Christians, "we were traveling by bus from the University of Mosul, despite constant threats under which they live," said Nissan Karoumi, Mayor of Hamdaniya. For over five years the University of Mosul has been in the sights of Islamic extremist groups fighting for the conversion of young students. Often leaflets circulate in the university that promise to "kill every Iraqi woman who does not wear the veil" and anyone wearing "Western" clothes.
Mosul itself has long been the most dangerous area of Iraq for the Christian minority. The Diaspora increases daily and many now argue that the city may soon become completely Muslim, if authorities do not take serious measures to curb the violence and punish those responsible for attacks that mostly remain unknown.
The political and sectarian tension is rising and the parliamentary elections of 7 March, have not yet shown a real winner. The country is in the grips of a power vacuum, while the various factions fight for a place in the new government, under pressure from rival outside powers like Iran and Saudi Arabia.
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The killings prompt exodus. Some 500 families fleeing from Baghdad and Mosul to the north. That might not hold up to the influx of refugees. Meanwhile, the government promises 400 dollars in aid to every family that leaves.
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The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
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