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Series of Baghdad Bombings Target Christians, Police Say
By Aaron C. Davis
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BAGHDAD -- A series of at least six coordinated bombings in and around Baghdad on Thursday night appeared to target homes of Christians, police said. Three people were killed, including two Christians, and at least a dozen more were wounded. The attacks began after dark with two near-simultaneous explosions and continued for about two hours. The deadliest blast occurred in central Baghdad in an area where some of the city's last remaining Christians are known to live. Assyrians and other types of Christians comprise a slice of Iraq's most ancient heritage, and their small minority has been under siege for years. According to unofficial estimates, the Christian population in the country has shrunk by more than half since the beginning of the war. A horrific siege on a Baghdad church service in October killed more than 50 and focused international attention on the plight of Iraq's remaining Christians. Many have fled Baghdad for areas in and around the semi-autonomous northern Kurdistan region. Christmas celebrations across the country were subdued or cancelled altogether last week as al-Qaeda threatened more attacks.

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