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Nov 3rd, 2010


‘Rivers of Blood’: Al-Qaida in Iraq Vows More Attacks on Christians

The ‘killing sword will not be lifted’ from their necks

Image: Interior of the Our Lady of Salvation church after the attack
A mobile phone camera image obtained by the Associated Press shows the interior of the Our Lady of Salvation church after the attack.

The Associated Press and Reuters via MSNBC.com
November 3, 2010

BAGHDAD — Al-Qaida’s front group in Iraq has threatened more attacks on Christians after a siege on a Baghdad church that left 58 people dead, linking the warning to claims that Egypt’s Coptic Church is holding women captive for converting to Islam.

The Islamic State of Iraq, which has already claimed responsibility for Sunday’s assault on a Catholic church Mass in downtown Baghdad, said its deadline for Egypt’s Copts to release the women had expired.

As a result, the group said in a statement posted late Tuesday on militant websites, “All Christian centers, organizations and institutions, leaders and followers are legitimate targets for the muhajedeen (holy warriors) wherever they can reach them.” …

The threat raised the prospect of violence against Christians across the Middle East, with the statement adding, “We will open upon them the doors of destruction and rivers of blood.” …

Christian exodus

Sunday’s attack was the deadliest ever recorded against Iraq’s Christians, whose numbers have plummeted since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion as the community has fled to other countries.

“In Iraq, every attack prompts the exodus of thousands of Christians,” said the Rev. Samir Khalil Samir, an Egyptian Jesuit who is one of the Vatican’s leading experts on Islam.

Iraq’s Christians once numbered 1.5 million out of a total Iraqi population of about 30 million. Church officials believe that hundreds of thousands have either left the country or been displaced to other parts of the country. …

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11/27/2010 Update

Iraq Arrests 12 Over Deadly Baghdad Church Siege

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra

November 27, 2010

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s interior minister says a group of 12 insurgents suspected to be behind the deadly church siege a month ago has been arrested.

Interior Minister Jawad Bolani says the arrests are a blow to the al-Qaida network in Iraq.

He told The Associated Press on Saturday that the arrests took place in recent days.

Insurgents took about 120 people hostage in a Baghdad church in October. The deadly siege ended with 68 people dead in an attack that shocked many of Iraq’s already-hardened citizens.

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1/3/2011 Update

Pope calls Egypt church attack ‘vile gesture’ (Reuters, Jan. 2, 2011) — Pope Benedict condemned a bomb blast outside a church in Egypt that killed at least 21 people, the latest in a series of attacks on Christians in the Middle East and Africa. Suspicion for the attack fell on al-Qaida after the terror group’s branch in Iraq vowed to attack Christians in Iraq and Egypt over the cases of two Egyptian Christian women who sought to convert to Islam. … Full story

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1/7/2011 Update

U.S. Commander: Al-Qaida Targeting Iraq’s Christians


January 6, 2011

BAGHDAD — Al-Qaida in Iraq is targeting Christians in their homes after Iraqi authorities increased protection around the minority group’s churches, a U.S. commander said on Thursday.

Lieutenant General Robert Cone, the U.S. deputy commanding general for operations in Iraq, said the Sunni Islamist group seemed determined to continue attacks against Christians following a siege of a Catholic cathedral two months ago.

“Al-Qaida has shifted to try and go after the Christians where they live,” Cone told Reuters in an interview. …

A series of bomb attacks on the homes of minority Christians in Baghdad last Thursday killed two people and injured at least 16. The blasts followed an October 31 assault on a Syrian Catholic cathedral in the Iraqi capital in which 52 people were killed.

The Islamic State of Iraq, the local affiliate of al-Qaida, has said Iraqi Christians risk further attacks unless they pressure the Christian church in Egypt to release women it said the church was holding after they had converted to Islam.

On New Year’s Day, a blast outside a church in Egypt’s port city of Alexandria killed up to 23. Islamist radicals have been calling for many months on jihadi websites for attacks on the Egyptian Coptic church.

Cone, whose troops are due to withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011, more than eight years after the U.S.-led invasion, said Iraqi security forces were concerned and had increased protection for Christians.

“There are 144 churches in Iraq and they (Iraqi security forces) have assisted in putting up barriers and blast protection,” he said. …

Iraq’s Christians, who have frequently been targeted, once numbered about 1.5 million but are now believed to have fallen to less than 850,000 out of a population of 30 million.

Some 1,000 Christian families, or 6,000 people, have fled to Iraq’s northern Kurdish region, or to regional countries, since the assault on the cathedral, the U.N. said last month.

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Related reports on this site


In this photo taken May 13, 2009, Christian believers pray outside a church in south Baghdad’s Dora neighborhood. Iraq has lost more than half the Christians that once called it home, mostly since the war began, and few who fled the chaos have plans to ever return. (Photo credit: Loay Hameed / AP)

Christian Persecution Continues in New Iraq (Aug. 3, 2011)

Christians Fleeing New Iraq (Jan. 20, 2011)

Christians Persecuted in Iraq (Dec. 30, 2010)

After Saddam, Christian Persecution in New Iraq (Dec. 19, 2010)

Rivers of Christian Blood in Iraq (Nov. 3, 2010)

Catholic Hostages Killed in Iraq (Oct. 31, 2010)

Christian Cleansing in Iraq (July 12, 2009)

In Iraq, an Exodus of Christians (May 16, 2009; scroll down)

Christians on the Run in Iraq (Nov. 26, 2008)

Christians Flee Iraqi City (Oct. 12, 2008)

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — November 3, 2009

Iraq-Afghanistan Casualties

One year ago today, I provided my weekly report of U.S. military deaths in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Army National Guard Spc. Adrian L. Avila, 19, Opelika, Ala., died Oct. 29, 2009 at Camp Buehring, Khabari Crossing, Kuwait, of injuries sustained from a non-combat related accident.

Spc. Avila was assigned to the 1343rd Chemical Company, 151st Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Battalion, 115th Fires Brigade of the Alabama National Guard, Fort Payne, Ala.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — November 3, 2008

Write-in Campaign: Day 16

Two years ago today, on the 16th day of my write-in campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I reported that in the final week of my campaign I mounted a ground assault with an advertising blitz comprising ads in 25 newspapers across the district with a combined circulation of approximately 150,000.

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12 Responses to “Rivers of Christian Blood in Iraq”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Insurgents Coming Back in Iraq Says:

    [...] Rivers of Christian Blood in Iraq (Nov. 3, 2010) [...]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » After Saddam, Christian Persecution in New Iraq Says:

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  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » The Pope’s Christmas Message 2010 Says:

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  4. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Christians Persecuted in Iraq Says:

    [...] Rivers of Christian Blood in Iraq (Nov. 3, 2010) [...]

  5. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Christians Fleeing New Iraq Says:

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  6. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iraq: Many Dead in Tikrit Says:

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  8. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » The Pope’s Easter Message 2011 Says:

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  9. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iraq Security Blunder Feeds Doubt Says:

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  10. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Christian Persecution Continues in New Iraq Says:

    [...] Rivers of Christian Blood in Iraq (Nov. 3, 2010) [...]

  11. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » November 3, 2011 Says:

    [...] Rivers of Christian Blood in Iraq [...]

  12. Immelman vs. Bachmann » Blog Archive » Christians on the Run in Iraq Says:

    [...] Rivers of Christian Blood in Iraq (Nov. 3, 2010) [...]

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