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» 04/24/2009
IRAQ
Two attacks in Baghdad kill 60, country on the edge of civil war
Two female suicide bombers attack an important Shia mosque in the capital. At least 60 people are killed and 125 wounded. Sources tell AsiaNews that it is “war” in the capital with mortars, bazookas and bombs. Fighting is taking place in Kirkuk over oil.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Iraq is on its way towards sliding into civil war. In the last few days several car bombs have exploded in short order. Mortar and bazooka attacks have been reported as Sunni and Shia factions begin to battle it out in an undeclared war. When the Americans leave “it will get worse’” sources told AsiaNews. For the latter Iraq is already a “divided country at war.”

Today’s attacks took place at the Imam Moussa al-Kadhim shrine in the Kadhimiya area; 60 were killed when two female suicide bombers blew themselves up. More than a hundred people were wounded but the final toll is set to rise.

In Diyala province another car bomb killed one Iraqi soldier, wounding three.

“There is no political will to find a solution,” the source said. “The country is still split between Sunni, Shia and Kurdish factions. Every party has an armed wing that carries out attacks, commits crimes and indulges in violence. We are witnessing a struggle for power that will get worse.”

The election of Iyad al-Samarrai’e to the post of speaker, a Sunni member of the National Assembly’s Finance Committee, has made matters worse. 

However, as the winds of war blow in Baghdad, the international community is strangely silent. For many the departure of US troops “will inevitably cause further violence.”

“The US government is like Pontius Pilate,” the source said. “In Iraq we are on the eve of war and the US administration is washing its hands. In his election campaign Barack Obama promised to pull US troops out, criticising Bush’s policy. Now he wants to keep that promise despite all the innocent blood that has been shed.”

The northern part of the country has not been spared by this new wave of violence. In Kirkuk there are open clashes over who will control the area’s oil between the Kurds, who signed concessions with foreign companies, and the central government.

In the midst of all this the local Christian community has come under attack and is being used by a political faction to grab power.

“Kurds say they are defending the Christians to show that they are for minority protection,” the source said. “This way they can give legitimacy to their army and their hold over the region.”


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See also
08/19/2008 IRAQ
In Kirkuk Christian and Muslim leaders pray for peace in the country
11/13/2007 IRAQ
Baghdad’s “successes” vs Mosul’s “hell”
09/10/2012 IRAQ
Archbishop of Kirkuk: sectarian violence in Iraq "politically motivated"
by Joseph Mahmood
07/31/2008 IRAQ
Christians and Muslims show solidarity for Kirkuk attack victims
02/20/2009 IRAQ
Provincial elections: al Maliki triumphs in Baghdad and Basra. Anbar goes to tribal Sunnis

Editor's choices
ASIA
Vigil for persecuted Christians, our teachers in the mission in the West
by Bernardo CervelleraThe "wall of indifference and cynicism" and the silence and apathy so often denounced by Pope Francis have become almost a fortress. Such persecution reflects confessional manipulation, which slams Islam as such, and ideological manipulation, which forgets what is happening in North Korea or China. An increasingly post-Christian Europe seems disinterested in Christians.
RUSSIA – CHINA
Moscow Patriarchate: China authorises the ordination of Chinese Orthodox priests on its territory
by Marta AllevatoMetropolitan Hilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate’s ‘foreign minister’, made the announcement after a visit to China where he met the leaders of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. The first priest should serve in Harbin. Two more ordinations are expected. With a new Cold War as the background, the Moscow-Beijing strategic alliance also has a Church connection with the People's Republic recognising the latter’s 'political' role in Russia.
VATICAN
Pope: We and the four new saints, witnesses of the Resurrection "where forgetfulness of God and human disorientation are most evident "Francis proclaims four religious sisters saints: one French, one Italian, two Palestinians: Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, the foundress of the Sisters of the Rosary, and the Carmelite Maria of Crucified Jesus (nee Maria Bawardy). Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority present. "Abiding in Christ" and cultivating “unity among us" are essential signs of witness. Maria Bawardy, "instrument of encounter and communion with the Muslim world".

Dossier

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