A previously destroyed church
Orthodox church in Baghdad
Monday, 8 November 2004
BAGHDAD (AP) - Masked men
detonated a bomb near an Orthodox church in southern Baghdad
on Monday, and police at the scene said three people were killed
and 34 wounded.
A guard at the St. Bahnam
and Sheik Matti Orthodox Church in the capital's Doura neighborhood
said the militants drove up in a pickup truck.
"They were all armed,"
said Khalaf Enad. "They quickly poured out of the car, pointed
their weapons at me and said 'Get in.' They opened fire for over
a minute and then I heard a big explosion."
The blast created a crater
over 12 feet wide and 3 feet deep. Church deacon Matti Qeryaqos,
who lives nearby, said the explosion shattered church windows
the doors off their hinges, collapsing the outer wall. He said
there was no service at the church at the time of the blast,
and that the dead and wounded were mostly neighbors.
Mohammed Aziz said strong
explosions rocked the area. "I felt my house shaking three
times and then saw the fire set in the church."
Police sealed off the area
and fired bullets in the air to disperse the crowd, according
to another witness, Lyon Emad Elias, whose home faces the church.
(UPDATES with police reporting
three dead, 34 wounded. corrects that church is Orthodox sted
Catholic. ADDS byline)
Hospital Blasts Kill Eight
Mon Nov 8, 04
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Car
bombs at two Baghdad churches and outside a hospital treating
the victims of those attacks killed at least eight people and
wounded dozens on Monday night as a wave of blasts struck the
A car bomb exploded outside
St. George's Catholic church in southern Baghdad just before
6:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m. EST),
followed just minutes later by a second outside St. Matthew's
Victims from both blasts,
some carried by injured friends or
relatives in torn and bloodstained clothes, were rushed to
Yarmouk hospital. A doctor said at least three people had been
killed and 40 injured.
A few hours later, a suicide
car bomber plowed into four police
cars parked outside the hospital entrance, killing at least five
policemen, police said.
Several more explosions
echoed across the city later in the
night, but there was no immediate word on casualties.
The wave of bombings swept
Baghdad as U.S. Marines began their full-scale offensive to capture
the rebel Sunni Muslim city
of Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of the capital.
In the latest of almost
daily bombings on the main road to Baghdad airport, at least
three people were killed in a suicide car bomb attack on a checkpoint
earlier in the day.
Rebels fighting Iraq (news
- web sites)'s interim government and it's U.S. backers have
stepped up attacks around the country since U.S. forces began
building up for their assault on Falluja, seen as the epicenter
of the insurgency.
Iraq's Christian minority
has also been targeted. Five churches were hit in a string of
bombings in October that seemed designed to intimidate the Christian
community, already shaken by a series of attacks that killed
several people in August.
Iraq's 650,000 Christians,
mostly Chaldeans, Assyrians and Catholics, comprise about three
percent of the population.
and pictures about previous bombings