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» 11/29/2010
IRAQ
Terrorists behind attack on Baghdad church arrested
In the operation conducted by Iraqi security forces, new plans to target four buildings discovered. The 12 arrested have admitted their responsibility. But the news of the capture is no comfort to the Christian community, which continues to leave Baghdad.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - "Only lies, a superficial move" to make it appear to the public and the international community that the new Iraqi government is working to ensure the security of minority religious communities, while people are still forced to emigrate because of the lack security. From Baghdad to Mosul, this is the reaction of the Christian community to the arrest of a dozen terrorists responsible for the attack on the church of Our Lady of Salvation in the capital on October 31.

Last Nov. 27 it was announced that Iraqi security forces had captured an al-Qaeda leader and eleven of his men, involved in several attacks in the capital. He is Hudhaifa al-Battawi, military commander of al-Qaeda in Mansour, in western Baghdad. The news was reported by Iraqiya state television, quoting General Ahmed Abu Rgheif.

The operation, said the broadcaster, was conducted Nov. 24, although it was only made public three days later. The 12 arrested have admitted their responsibility for a series of attacks, including the hostage-taking in the Baghdad church which ended with the death of 57 people. Among other attacks attributed to the group there are those of the past month against the central bank, the offices of al-Arabiya satellite television and against some jewellery stores.

During the operation new plans were discovered to target four buildings with car bombs, landmines and explosive vests and six tons of explosives and some barrels of toxic substances were seized.

But news of the arrest has not reassured the Christian community, which has been seeking protection and justice from the central government. "It's a sham, they had said that the terrorists were all killed during the raid to free hostages in the church!" Commented some Christians who have emigrated from the capital, after the latest escalation of violence against the minority community.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of families are seeking refuge in the north after the explosions that targeted their homes in neighbourhoods inhabited by Christians, and the threat of al-Qaida to eliminate Christians from Iraq. 85 have arrived in Sulaimaniya from the capital, the figure has doubled in just one week.


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See also
11/30/2010 IRAQ
I try to forget, but I will always see the blood stained church of Baghdad
by Giulia Mazza
11/10/2010 IRAQ
Three Christians killed and 26 wounded. Appeal of Al Maliki
by Layla Yousif Rahema
06/08/2007 IRAQ
Kidnapped Chaldean Priest : No to the Niniveh plain ethnic project
by Saad Hanna Sirop*
11/25/2010 IRAQ
The martyrs of the massacre in Baghdad, a sign of unity for all Iraq’s Christians
by Simone Cantarini
12/06/2010 IRAQ
Two more Christians murdered overnight in Baghdad

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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