Last week we requested prayer after bomb attacks outside two churches in Mosul on 15th December. We regret to report that there was a further attack yesterday (Wednesday 23rd December) at another church in Mosul.
A Syrian Orthodox Church appears to have been deliberately targeted. Two Muslims were killed outside this church building. One report indicates a neighbouring Chaldean Church may also have been damaged in the bombing.
Recall that Security forces had voiced concern in recent days that Christmas gatherings and Shiite Ashura holiday observances would potentially draw attacks. In addition to the attack against the church in Mosul, reports indicate six Shiite pilgrims preparing for Ashura were killed by bombs exploding at different times on Wednesday in three Baghdad neighbourhoods. 43 People are reported to have been wounded in these attacks.
Some churches had curtailed their programme of events. After yesterday's attack, all services at Catholic churches have been cancelled in Mosul and Kirkuk.
These attacks are occurring within a context of an increased number of bomb attacks, which many regard as part of a campaign to destabilise the country in the run up to parliamentary elections scheduled for March next year.
(c) Middle East Concern