Scrolling news:

Iraq: US seeks verification of ‘Islamic State’ beheading of journalist James Foley

Japan: Torrential rains unleash deadly landslide killing a dozen people in Hiroshima

Palestine: Three Palestinians killed, incl 3 year-old child, in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City

Palestine: Dozens Palestinians abducted by Israeli forces in West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army demolishes cave housing family near Bethlehem

Palestine: Several Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank, Israeli settlers attack cars

Palestine: Israel bombs Gaza, withdraws negotiators from Cairo

Pakistan: 18 suspected militants killed in fresh NWA, Khyber airstrikes

US: Ferguson curfew lifted, Obama appeals for restraint

Iraq: Obama says Mosul Dam retaken from extremists with US help

Palestine: Palestinian female detainee denied family visits since her arrest in 2012

Palestine: Nine Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli soldiers from West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army detonates two homes in Hebron, seals one with concrete blocs

Palestine: Six Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank

Syria: Airstrikes kill 31 terrorists in Raqqa city

Palestine: Body recovered in Shujaiyya a month after ‘massacre’ by Israel

Palestine: Hamas says Israel stalling on agreement as Gaza death toll hits 2016

US: Curfew imposed for second night in Ferguson, Missouri

Palestine: Palestinian arrested filming Israeli settlers throwing stones in W Bank

Israel: 5 of 64 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza invasion were killed by ‘Friendly Fire’

Iraq: Christians targeted in Christmas day bombings

26th Dec 2013


A map of Iraq showing the location of Baghdad


Bombs have exploded in Christian areas of Iraq’s capital, Baghdad. The deadly blasts occurred near a church and a busy marketplace on Christmas day, amid a surge in violence in the country this year.

At least 35 people were killed and dozens more wounded in Wednesday’s attacks, with the most fatalities in the south of the city.

“Two roadside bombs exploded in a popular market in Dora, killing 35 people and wounding 56,” interior ministry spokesman Saad Maan told the AFP news agency.

Initial reports by security officials stated a car bomb had targeted a church as worshippers were leaving a Christmas service but that was later denied by Maan.

An Assyrian priest in Dura along with Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako also insisted the church was not the target.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Violent year

The minority Christian population of Iraq has sharply declined following years of  sectarian violence which followed the 2003 United States-led invasion of the country. It is estimated one million Christians have left in the past decade.

This year has been the most violent in Iraq since 2008 in terms of sectarian clashes, with more than 6,650 people having been killed since the beginning of 2013, according to figures gathered by news agency AFP.

Hardline Sunni Muslim militants linked to al Qaeda have been increasing attacks on the  Shiite-led government and its supporters. Dozens of Shiite Muslim pilgrims were killed in a series of car bombs, shootings and suicide attacks in the lead-up to the Shiite holy day of Arbaeen, which coincided with Christmas Eve this year.

se /rc (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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