Christian woman shot dead in Baghdad

2011-01-03 12:28
Baghdad - Gunmen broke into the home of a Christian woman in central Baghdad on Monday, shot her dead and made off with a number of her possessions, an Iraqi interior ministry official said.

Rafah Toma, who lived alone in al-Wahda neighbourhood, is the latest victim of a string of attacks on Christians in Iraq, with the official saying she was likely targeted because of her religion.

On Thursday, at least two Christians were killed and 16 others wounded in a wave of bomb attacks on Christian targets in Baghdad.

On October 31, militants stormed Our Lady of Salvation church in central Baghdad, leaving 44 worshippers, two priests and seven security force personnel dead, in an attack claimed by al-Qaeda's local affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq.

The group said it carried out the attack because two women who allegedly converted to Islam were being held hostage by Egypt's Coptic Church, and threatened Christians in the region, including in Egypt.

Ten days after the church massacre, a string of bomb and mortar attacks targeting the homes of Christians in Baghdad killed six people and wounded 33.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who was approved by parliament for a second term along with a national unity cabinet on December 21 after more than nine months of political deadlock, has cited security as one of his priorities.

Maliki has condemned as an "awful crime" the bombing of a church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria early on Saturday which killed 21 people and wounded 79.

There has been no early claim of responsibility for the bombing.
Read more on:    iraq  |  security
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