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    » 01/08/2013, 00.00


    More Christian blood in Mosul, car bomb kills Christian university student

    The bomb went off in front of a supermarket near the local university. The medical student, who was in his last year of study, was killed instantly. Dozens of other people were hurt in the blast, which caused widespread material damage. The violence, sources tell AsiaNews, is the result of a power struggle between Sunni, Shia and Kurdish groups to divide the country into enclaves.

    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 cut.

    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 damages.

    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 abducted Bishop Faraj Rahho, and Fr Ragheed Ganni. (DS)

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    See also

    13/07/2009 IRAQ
    Car bomb against Mosul church as Mgr Warduni calls attacks in Baghdad premeditated
    In northern Iraq Our Lady of Fatima Church is hit; nearby Shia mosque is also damaged. Local sources warn of new attacks “against churches and monasteries”. A new Christian exodus is feared. For auxiliary bishop of Baghdad attacks were “organised”; he appeals for peace.

    09/10/2008 IRAQ
    Islamic fundamentalists: "expel Christians from Mosul"
    Yesterday, a 38-year-old Chaldean was shot to death, but there could be a total of three victims. Men are driving around the city shouting slogans against the Christians, threatening more slaughter and violence. From the U.S. command, confirmation that Mosul has become the last stronghold of the al Qaeda militants.

    13/11/2009 IRAQ
    Mosul celebrating the appointment of new archbishop after the death of Mgr Rahho
    Benedict XVI approves the election of Rev Emil Shimoun Nona by the Synod of Bishops of the Chaldean Church. The diocese had no leader since March 2008 when Mgr Rahho was abducted and murdered. Catholics in Mosul are full of “joy and renewed hope.”

    28/06/2007 IRAQ
    Two more Christians killed in an attack in Mosul
    The victims are two Assyrian men from the National Union of Beth Nahrin. Persecution of Iraqi Christians continues in order to prevent them from taking part in the political process.

    28/02/2010 VATICAN
    Pope appeals for Christians in Iraq and prays for the earthquake victims in Chile
    In his first public address after his retreat, Benedict XVI expresses solidarity with Christians and people of Iraq and calls on the country's authorities to "ensure security" not to be dominated by "vested interests" for the support of the international community. Request for solidarity for the victims of the earthquake in Chile. During Lent, faithful and priests are invited to "constant meditation" on the Gospel. The attitude of the disciples in the transfiguration of Jesus

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