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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:27, September 17, 2006
Unknown group claims responsibility for attacking West Bank churches
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A previously unknown group claimed responsibility on Saturday for attacking two churches Friday night in West Bank city of Nablus, a Palestinian radio reported.

In a telephone interview with a local radio station in Nablus, a group calling itself "Lions of Monotheism" announced responsibility for the attacks at churches in the region on Friday.

Unidentified attackers threw four Molotov cocktails at two churches as part of widespread anger sparked by Pope Benedict XVI who linked Islam with religious violence in a speech made earlier this week.

Father George Awad, the spiritual leader of Roman Catholics in Nablus, said that unknown men threw several fire-bombs at two churches, one Protestant and the other Roman Catholic Timorese.

"The Molotov bombs hit the churches, causing material damages without casualties," Awad said.

Father Awad strongly condemned both the Pope's remarks about Islam and the church arsonists, saying "the goal of these actions is to create a rift among the peoples who have lived for hundreds of years with love and tolerance."

He called for unity between Palestinian Muslims and Christians.

On Friday night, thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to protest the Pope's remarks and demand an official apology.

In a speech at Regensburg University in Germany on Tuesday, Pope Benedict XVI quoted a 14th-century Christian emperor who said the Prophet Muhammad had brought the world only "evil and inhuman" things.

Source: Xinhua

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