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Forcing Christians Out of Iraq?

On Sunday, a church siege in Baghdad left 58 people dead. The Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaeda-linked group, claimed reponsibility for attacking the Catholic church situated close to the Green Zone.

The gunmen held more than 100 people hostage for hours before security forces stormed the church. The kidnappers were demanding the release of al-Qaeda prisoners from Iraqi and Egyptian jails. They also threatened the Coptic church of Egypt for allegedly detaining female Muslims against their will.

The attack is being described as the bloodiest against Iraq's dwindling Christian community since the 2003 US-led invasion.

So, is the attack a fresh round of violence against this community? And is the aim of the attack to force Christians out of Iraq?

Inside Story, with presenter Dareen Aboughaida, discusses with Aziz Emmanuel Zedari, a member of the Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Council, an NGO seeking to enhance the rights of Christians in Iraq, Abdulmunaem Almula, an Iraq affairs analyst, and Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, the director of the Center for the Study of Terrorist Radicalisation at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies.


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