Roadside Bombs Strike Iraqi Christians

At least four people died and more than 170 were injured when buses carrying Christian university students were bombed in a roadside attack near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on May 2. The buses, carrying students from At least four people died and more than 170 were injured when buses carrying Christian university students were bombed in a roadside attack near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on May 2. The buses, carrying students from the village of Qaraqosh to a university in Mosul, were struck by an explosion followed by a car bombing. Victims included bystanders. The buses were escorted by Iraqi soldiers, and the bombings occurred between two checkpoints staffed by U.S., Iraqi and Iraqi Kurdish soldiers. “It was a brutal, unprecedented attack. We are shocked, since the victims were not soldiers or militants but just students who were carrying books, pens and their dreams of growing up and serving their own nation,” said Bashar Wardu of Irbil, a Redemptorist priest. The minority Christian community “feels unprotected and left at the mercy of extremists,” said Father Wardu. Archbishop Georges Casmoussa of Mosul, a Syrian Catholic, said that Christians were ready to call for the United Nations to intervene and help protect them. He said that the injustice against Christians has been met with “general indifference” by civil and government authorities. Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Baghdad, a Chaldean, said that Iraqi Christians feel at a loss as to how to protect themselves from further attacks. Having a military escort in front and behind the bus convoy was not enough to prevent the attack, he pointed out.

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