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Bombers strike Iraq churches wounding 40

Bombers struck two churches in the main northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Tuesday wounding at least 40 people, among them schoolchildren, police and medics said.

world Updated: Dec 15, 2009 15:59 IST

Bombers struck two churches in the main northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Tuesday wounding at least 40 people, among them schoolchildren, police and medics said.

One bomb struck the Syrian Catholic Church of the Annunciation in the north of the city. The second, a car bomb, struck the Syrian Orthodox Church of Purity and a nearby Christian school in the city centre, police said.

The Medical City hospital confirmed receiving 40 wounded from the blasts. Since the US-led invasion of 2003, hundreds of Christians have been killed and several churches attacked.

Last year, thousands of Christians fled Mosul in the face of violence that claimed the lives of 40 members of the community. As recently as November 26, a church and a convent in Mosul were bombed, but there were no casualties in that attack.

A report this month by Human Rights Watch said minority groups in the north, including Christians, have fallen victim to a struggle between Arabs and Kurds for control of several disputed districts.

Iraq has congregations from a range of Christian denominations, including Chaldean Catholics, Assyrian Orthodox and Armenians as well as the two Syrian churches.