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Thread: Fifty-two killed in Iraq church

  1. #1
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Fifty-two killed in Iraq church

    (Reuters) - An al Qaeda attack that killed 52 hostages and police in a Catholic church in Baghdad was aimed at driving the embattled Christian minority out of the country, Iraq's human rights minister said on Monday.

    Church officials described the attack, which began when gunmen seized the Our Lady of Salvation Church during Sunday mass, as the bloodiest against Iraq's Christians in the seven years of sectarian war that followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

    A Christian lawmaker said the botched raid to free the hostages proved that the Iraqi security forces lack the capability to maintain peace.

    Lieutenant General Hussein Kamal, a deputy interior minister said 52 hostages and police were killed and 67 wounded in the incident, which ended with police storming the Assyrian Catholic church to free more than 100 hostages seized by guerrillas.

    The death toll was many times higher than that given overnight in the hours after the raid.

    "What happened was more than a catastrophic and tragic event. In my opinion, it is an attempt to force Iraqi Christians to leave Iraq and to empty Iraq of Christians," Human Rights Minister Wijdan Michael, a Christian, said at the scene.

    Al Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq, claimed responsibility in a statement posted on Islamist websites for the attack on "the dirty den of idolatry."

    At least one bomb exploded at the start of the siege. Sporadic gunfire rang out for several hours over the Karrada neighborhood near the heavily fortified Green Zone district where many embassies and government offices are located.

    U.S. and Iraqi military helicopters thundered overhead as security forces cordoned off the area.

    A federal police source who declined to be identified said Sunday's rescue operation was extremely difficult.

    "The attackers were among children, armed with weapons," the source said. "Most of the casualties were killed or wounded when the security forces raided the place."

    Officials say some of the attackers blew up explosives vests or threw grenades during the raid. Security sources said many of the victims died in gunfights between police and insurgents.

    "SENSELESS VIOLENCE"

    Iraq's Christians, who once numbered 1.5 million out of a total Iraqi population of about 30 million, have frequently been targeted by militants since the invasion, with churches bombed and priests assassinated. Many have fled.

    Our Lady of Salvation was one of five churches in Baghdad and Mosul hit in coordinated attacks in August 2004 in which 12 people were killed.

    "Because of their lack of professionalism, and the hasty action taken by security forces in freeing the hostages, many innocent people were killed."

    The failure of Iraqi leaders to agree on a new government so long after the March election has stoked tensions just as U.S. forces cut back their presence and end combat operations ahead of a full withdrawal next year.

    Although violence has fallen sharply since the height of sectarian bloodshed in 2006-07, attacks by Sunni insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Shi'ite militia continue daily.

    Sunday's attack followed the bombing of a cafe in Diyala province on Friday in which 22 people died, interrupting a relatively long period without a major assault by suspected Sunni Islamist insurgents.
    The last high-profile suicide bombing took place on September 5 when insurgents stormed an army base in Baghdad.

    Al Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq, claimed responsibility for Sunday's attack on "the dirty den of idolatry."

    It said in a statement posted on radical Islamic websites that it was an action against the Coptic church in Egypt, which it seemed to accuse of imprisoning Muslim women.


    Fifty-two killed in Iraq church raid | Reuters
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  2. #2
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    It just breaks my heart that people in Iraq are still going through all this shit. They had it tough under Saddam, and they have it tough.

  3. #3
    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    And they probly always will
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    Elite Member Wiseguy's Avatar
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    Awful.


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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Saddam actually kept the country sectarian violence free, and educational opportunities were quite abundant.

    He had to do it with an iron fist, but he did it.
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    Gold Member thunder&lightning's Avatar
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    let me get this straight. there was a place for the muslim religion/faith in the world trade center? so these jackass terrorists ran planes into a building that had the muslim faith/center/mosue/place etc. they don't care if a muslim church exists where they are running things into it. who was this guy onthe telly who is an expert with the quaran (spell?) pointing out that though not all muslims are violent people yet the fucking q preaches about being violent towards others if they don't mold themselves into giving all life and their assholes to some god and there's 100 virgins waiting to sit on your face in another dimension.

    SPELL IT OUT.
    another year i claim of total indifference.

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