Blasts target Baghdad Christians

Blasts target Baghdad Christians

 The blasts came less than two weeks after insurgents besieged a church and killed 56 Christians in an assault that drew international condemnation.

Police said at least 11 roadside bombs went off within an hour in three predominantly Christian areas of central Baghdad. Four of the blasts hit houses belonging to Christians, and two mortar rounds also struck Christian enclaves of the predominantly Sunni neighbourhood of Dora in south Baghdad. Two bombs planted in deserted Christian homes in western Baghdad destroyed two houses.

It was the third attack targeting Christians since the church siege on Oct 31. Late Tuesday, a series of bombs hit three empty houses belonging to Christians in western Baghdad but no one was hurt. Last week, an al-Qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility for the church attack and threatened more violence against Christians.

The threat left many Christians in the country wondering whether it was time to flee their homeland.

“We were terrified by the explosions,” said Juleit Hana, a 33-year-old Christian who lives in one of the neighbourhoods targeted Wednesday. She was having breakfast with her daughter when she heard the bombs go off. She vowed to leave the country. “It’s not worth staying in a country where the government is not able to protect you even when you are sitting in your house.”

The new attacks struck as Iraq’s minority Christian community was still in shock over the massacre at Baghdad’s main Catholic cathedral, Our Lady of Salvation.

Even for a nation used to daily violence after years of war, the killings at the hands of Islamic militants shocked Iraqis.

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