Suicide Car Bomb Explodes in Assyrian Town in North Iraq

Bartillah, North Iraq (AINA) -- The quiet town of Bartillah, inhabited mostly by Syriac Orthodox Assyrians, experienced its first suicide bomb attack in its history this Sunday morning. At approximately 10 AM a dump truck exploded at the gates of the town's headquarters of the Supreme council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). According to the Hamdaniya hospital chief, the blast killed two and wounded 13, a majority of which were civilians. Several automobiles and structures were also destroyed by the explosion.

The attack has shocked the residents of Bartillah and the Hamdaniya region in general, which has been relatively safe compared to the neighboring city of Mosul located 10 miles to the west. The Bartillah residents are very concerned that this attack maybe the first of many to come unless a change is made to locally administer the Nineveh Plain region, which is currently governed by the troubled city of Mosul, which is preoccupied with it's insurgency problems. Bartillah is considered a major center for the Syriac orthodox church and is the birthplace of the current patriarch of the Church. Throughout its history, Bartillah has endured several atrocities but its inhabitants have remained. According to the 13th century historian Bar Hebraeus (Summary of the History of the Lands), thousands fled Bartillah and neighboring Christian villages when King Salih Ismail ordered a large number of Kurds from the mountains of Turkey to attack the Nineveh plains and move into the region.

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