Two Christians shot dead in northern Iraq

09:33, November 23, 2010      

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Two Christian brothers were killed by gunmen inside their auto mechanic shop in Mosul, capital city of Nineveh, a provincial police source said.

The attack took place around midday (0900 GMT) when unidentified armed men stormed the workshop of the two brothers in Wadi Aghab district in western Mosul and shot them dead before they fled the scene, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Earlier this month, a series of bomb attacks targeted homes of Christian citizens in Baghdad, killing at least three and wounding 23 others.

The attacks against Iraqi Christians came after a hostage- taking attack by Islamic gunmen against Christian worshippers at a Baghdad church, which killed 58 people and wounded some 75 others.

Later, an al-Qaida affiliated militant group in Iraq claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that Christians and their organizations have become "legitimate targets" for the al-Qaida militants.

The self-styled Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), the al-Qaida front in Iraq, said in a statement posted on an Islamic website that it "declares all Christian centers, organizations and institutions, leaders and followers, are legitimate targets of Mujahdeen (holy Muslim warriors) wherever they can reach them."

Most of the around one million Iraqi Christian minority live in areas from Baghdad to northern cities of the country, including Kirkuk and Mosul. The Christian minority in Iraq has already suffered the murder of hundreds of its members due to chaos and insecurity that engulfed Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Nineveh province, with its capital Mosul some 400 km north of Baghdad, has long been a stronghold for insurgent groups, including al-Qaida militants. The province has been the scene of major security crackdowns by the U. S. troops and Iraqi security forces to uproot the insurgency which erupted shortly after the U. S.-led invasion in 2003.

Source: Xinhua


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