Pope denounces attacks on Iraqi Christians

POPE Benedict XVI today denounced renewed attacks against the Christian community in Iraq.

Four people have been killed and 171 were wounded on Sunday when a bus convoy carrying Christian students to the University of Mosul was attacked.

First an explosive device and then a car bomb hit three of the buses. Each bus took about 50 students, ranging in age from 18 to 26. After the explosions, dozens of the young people were taken to hospitals in Erbil. Seventeen continue to be in a grave condition.

“Today was terrible and I will not forget it for the rest of my life,” Wisam Jarji, a student who was wounded in the blast, said. “Following the explosion, the situation in the bus was chaotic and I could see blood stains and hear screams all over the place.”

Chaldean Archbishop Emil Nona also spoke about the ‘devastating’ explosion.

“We are seeing another, the umpteenth, attack against Christians,” Archbishop Nona said. “The violence continues without relief.”
A local priest also described the scene.
“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,” Redemptorist Fr Bashar Wardu of Irbil said. “Christians are still being targeted.”
Syrian Catholic Archbishop Georges Casmoussa of Mosul said that Christians in the area were ready to call for the United Nations to intervene and help protect them.

For more on Pope’s reaction visit:

http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/index.asp

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