Mosul (AsiaNews) -- Two separate bombs struck this morning in Mosul, the Chaldean church of St. George and Syriac Orthodox Church of St. Thomas. The death toll so far is of three dead - a Chaldean Christian and two Muslims - and several wounded. Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, speaks to AsiaNews of a "disturbing message" ahead of Christmas, keeping tensions high as well as fear of further violence in northern Iraq.
Sources for AsiaNews in Mosul confirm that "the situation for Christians continues to worsen, given that the Christians buildings are again being targeted by terrorists. The two churches hit are two old buildings, of great historical and cultural value".
In the attack on the church of Saint George three people were killed: a Chaldean Christian and two Muslims, others were injured. Local witnesses report that the explosion was caused by "a cart of vegetables, filled with bombs." From the initial reconstruction, it seems that the target of the attack was a police barracks in the district of Khazraj. In the last six weeks in Mosul four churches and a convent of Dominican nuns have been attacked. The explosions were caused by car bombs producing serious damage to buildings and adjacent homes, Christian and Muslim. Five Christians have been murdered and others have become victims of kidnapping for ransom. These targeted attacks testify to the "ethnic cleansing" in act against the Christian community throughout Iraq.
Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, believes today attacks are yet another "disturbing message" to two days before Christmas. These threats, stresses the prelate, "continue to influence the Christian community" that hopes "for peace" but is the victim of violence. "The message of peace and hope - reaffirms the archbishop of Kirkuk - announced by angels, remains our best wishes for Christmas for the entire country: we want to work together to build peace and hope in the hearts of all men and women of Iraq."