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» 01/08/2013
IRAQ
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
07/13/2009 IRAQ
Car bomb against Mosul church as Mgr Warduni calls attacks in Baghdad premeditated
10/09/2008 IRAQ
Islamic fundamentalists: "expel Christians from Mosul"
11/13/2009 IRAQ
Mosul celebrating the appointment of new archbishop after the death of Mgr Rahho
06/28/2007 IRAQ
Two more Christians killed in an attack in Mosul
02/28/2010 VATICAN
Pope appeals for Christians in Iraq and prays for the earthquake victims in Chile

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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