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Gunmen target Christian homes, 2 killed

Gunmen target Christian homes, 2 killed

Militants attacked at least three Christian homes Thursday night with a combination of grenades and bombs, killing two people and sending fear into the already terrified tiny Christian community.
In the deadliest attack, assailants in southwestern Baghdad threw two grenades inside the home of a Christian family, killing two people and injuring another five, police said.
In a different neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, militants threw a grenade into another Christian home. Two people were injured in that attack.
Then a roadside bomb exploded near a Christian house in western Baghdad, injuring one member of the family as well as a civilian who was driving by, police said.
The casualties were confirmed by hospital officials. All of the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to talk to reporters.
The attacks are sure to ratchet up tension among the tiny Christian community still living in Baghdad. At least 68 people were killed in October when militants stormed a Baghdad church during Mass and took the congregation hostage.
Thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled to northern Iraq, fearing further attacks.
Last week, al-Qaida warned of further violence against Christians, leading many in the community to tone down their Christmas celebrations and cancel many events such as evening Mass and appearances by Santa Claus.
Christian leaders estimate 400,000 to 600,000 Christians still live in Iraq, according to a recent State Department report. At one time before the war, that number was as high as 1.4 million by some estimates.


Updated : 2021-01-17 12:13 GMT+08:00