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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
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

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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