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Iraqi Christians Demand Protection From Al-Qaeda

Baghdad (AFP) -- The leaders of Iraq's Christian minority on Thursday called on the country's beleaguered government to protect their community from attacks by Al Qaeda-inspired Muslim extremists.

In a joint statement, Patriarch Mar Dinka IV of the Catholic Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Emmanuel Delly of Babylon said Baghdad's remaining Christians were facing persecution. They blamed the so-called "Islamic State of Iraq", an alliance of Islamist insurgent groups that serves as an Al-Qaeda front, for much of the violence.

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