Baghdad (AINA) -- Gunmen opened fire on St. Mary Assyrian Church this on Tuesday morning, wounding two security guards, Raad Mekha, and Yakoob Zabook. The gunmen were traveling in a civilian car, according to a source in the interior ministry, when they fired a barrage of bullets at the church, which is located in the Ameen Thania neighborhood in eastern Baghdad. The church guards were taken to Al Kindi hospital, where one is listed in serious condition.
73 churches have been attacked or bombed since June, 2004, including today's attack (see church bombings). 45 of the attacked churches were in Baghdad, 19 in Mosul, 8 in Kirkuk and 1 in Ramadi.
The first church was bombed on June 26, 2004. This bombing marked the start of a low grade genocide on the Assyrians of Iraq (report). Since 2004 the population of Assyrians in Iraq has dropped precipitously from 1.4 million to 600,000 -- more than one half of Assyrians have fled Iraq to Syria, Jordan and Turkey.