It said an "angry group of mujahideen from among the supporters of Allah raided one of the filthy dens of idolatry that was always used by the Christians of Iraq as a headquarters to fight the religion of Islam and to support those who fight that religion."
The church was one of five bombed in simultaneous attacks in 2004 which killed 12 and prompted many of Iraq's Christians to begin emigrating. Since the 2003 invasion, as lethal attacks on the community across the country have continued, approximately half of the 800,000 Iraqi Christians have left.
Among those killed have been Paulos Faraj Rahh, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop, whose body was found in a shallow grave in February 2008.
The government has promised to protect them, but the community, which provides a large number of Iraq's doctors, teachers and other professionals, say not enough is being done.
"It was a massacre in there and now they are cleaning it up," said Raed Hadi, while cradling the coffin of his cousin, killed in the attack. "We Christians don't have enough protection. What shall I do now? Leave and ask for asylum?"
By Richard Spencer