Mosul (AsiaNews) - More Christian blood was shed today in Mosul,
northern Iraq. A Christian university student was in fact killed by a car bomb,
a day after the body
of a 54-year-old Christian teacher, Shdha Elias, was found, her throat
These deaths, involving members of the Christian minority, are an
illustration of the rising tensions in the city and across the country as
Sunnis, Shias, Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen vye for power and control.
Against a backdrop of a Kurdish president, Jalal Talabani, still in poor
health after suffering a stroke last month, and persistent political
uncertainty, tensions are fast rising. The inability of the central government
in Baghdad to cope with terrorist attacks is not helping either.
In Mosul, the car bomb exploded this morning in front of a supermarket
in al Alamia, near the city's university, local sources told AsiaNews.
The dead man was Ayyoub Fauzi Auyyoub Al Sheikh, a Christian medical
student on his last year of study. Eyewitnesses said he died instantly, and
that dozens of people were wounded from the blast, which caused major material
For the past two weeks, the atmosphere in the city has been getting
worse, the more so since the local administration and the central government in
Baghdad have been involved in a tug-of-war.
The city's governor, Athil Al Nujjaifi, is a member of an Islamist party
close to the Muslim Brotherhood. He is also the brother of Ussama Al Nujjaifi,
speaker of the National Assembly.
"Sunnis control the cities of Anbar, Diala, Salah addin', Tikrit, Mosul
and Kirkuk with Kurdish support," Iraq experts explained. Their alliance is in
opposition to Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, who is a Shia. Their aim is "to
divide the country into enclaves."
Minorities are the biggest losers from all this, including Christians
who have no power base or group that can defend their interests.
Since the US invasion of 2003, which led to the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraq's
Christian community lost more than half of its members.
In the case of the Christian teacher, whose body was found yesterday,
other anonymous sources said that she "lived alone" and was "an easy target for
criminals." For them, she "was probably killed during a robbery." Yesterday, after
her body was recovered and prepared, she was buried right away.
In the past, Mosul saw other major Christian figures murdered, including
Faraj Rahho, and Fr
Ragheed Ganni. (DS)