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Dozens killed in Christmas Day Iraqi blasts targeting Christians

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - 01:29

Dec. 25 - At least 34 people were killed in a series of Christmas Day bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital that targeted Christian areas. Mana Rabiee reports.

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In the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, Christians gather for Christmas Mass. They prayed for peace and the return of stability after a decade of violence in their country. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IRAQI CHRISTIAN CITIZEN, ESSAM ISTEFAN, SAYING: "I wish on Christmas Day happiness for Christians in Iraq and around the world, and I wish that the Iraqi people can overcome these difficult times, and I hope for the return of happiness and peace in the country." In the capitol Baghdad, the same prayer...peace in a nation stained with sectarian violence. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IRAQI CHRISTIAN CITIZEN, HADEEL, SAYING: "I hope that this Christmas will be a time for peace, for the Muslims and Christians alike. I wish for a better situation for Iraq." But peace would not come to Iraq this Christmas Day. Bomb attacks across Christian areas of Baghdad left at least 34 people dead and more than 50 others injured. In one attack, a car bomb near a church killed at least 24 people as worshippers left Christmas service. Two bombs also went off in a crowded market. Christians once numbered 1.5 million in this mostly Muslim country of 30 million. Now only 800,000 remain. Attacks targeting this minority in recent years have marred their Christmas festivities and forced many thousands to flee.

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Dozens killed in Christmas Day Iraqi blasts targeting Christians

Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - 01:29