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Seven Churches Hit in Baghdad -- Four Dead

Baghdad (AsiaNews) -- A series of car bombs targeted seven Chaldean and Orthodox churches of Baghdad tonight.

The worst hit church is the Chaldean Church of St Mary, in Sharaa Philistine, where the patriarchal vicar of Baghdad, Mgr. Sleimon Wardouni officiates. The car bomb exploded on the road that runs alongside the church and left four dead and dozens wounded many seriously.

The other churches, because of their distance from the road, suffered slight damage and some wounded, other churches have not reported damage to people or buildings.

The other churches targeted were: the Chaldean Church of Saint George in the district at Madidi, that of St. Joseph in Nafak (Chaldean), the Church of the Sacred Heart (Chaldean), the church of St Peter and Paul (Syrian Orthodox), and Assyrian church of Saint Mary.

A seventh church, that of St. James in Dora it seems is still in flames hours later.

Only days ago, Msgr. Wardouni had issued a statement to AsiaNews, emphasizing the relative calm that there was in the capital and in Iraq after the departure of American soldiers.

Some journalists in the capital say that the police suspect Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the head of Al Qaeda in Iraq, of being behind the attacks motivated by revenge for the "martyr of the veil" in Germany. Marwa el-Sherbini, 32 years old and in the third month of pregnancy, was killed in a knife attack in a Dresden courtroom by a German of Russian origin who she had sued for defamation. In the Islamic world she is being called the "martyr of the veil."


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