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Iraq

Two Iraqi Christians die in targeted bombings

Reuters/Mohammed Ameen

Two Christians were killed and 16 wounded Thursday after a series of apparently coordinated bomb attacks in Iraq. Fourteen bombs were placed in different Christian homes in the capital, Baghdad, stoking fears in a community still reeling from a church massacre two months ago.

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Officials said 10 bombs went off, while security forces carried out controlled detonations of the other four.

The only fatal attack took place in the central district of Al-Ghadir, when a home-made bomb exploded around 8pm local time.

Most of the bombs, which targeted Christian homes in seven parts of the city, were in the central district of Karrada.

"It's a mess. It shows the incapability of the government to restore security," said Father Yousef Thomas Mirkis, the head of the Dominican order in Iraq. "It is very difficult to understand why people attack the Christians, because we do not have any political power and we are not a threat"

The bombings came almost two months to the day after a 31 October attack on Our Lady of Salvation church in central Baghdad, which left the 44 worshippers, two priests and seven security forces members dead.

Al-Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq, claimed responsibility for that violence and threatened more attacks on Christians.

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