x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Blasts hit Baghdad's Christian districts

A string of bombings target Christian houses in Baghdad today, killing at least five people and wounding 11 others.

A string of bombings target Christian houses in Baghdad today, killing at least four people and wounding 11 others.
A string of bombings target Christian houses in Baghdad today, killing at least four people and wounding 11 others.

BAGHDAD // A string of bombings and mortar attacks targeted Christian houses in Baghdad early today, killing at least five people and wounding 24 others, officials said.

The attacks underscore the threat to Iraq's minority Christian community after the church massacre last week that left 58 people dead. Al Qa'eda militants claimed responsibility for that attack, and threatened more violence against the country's Christians.

They also follow a similar series of bombings late yesterday that hit three empty houses belonging to Christians in western Baghdad, police officials said. No one was wounded in those bombings.

Speaking about today's attacks, an Iraqi official told AFP: "Two mortar shells and 10 home-made bombs targeted the homes of Christians in different neighbourhoods of Baghdad between 0600 and 0800 [0300 and 0500 GMT]."

Police said the predominantly Christian areas of Camp Sara, Sinaa Street and al Ghadeer in central Baghdad were among the districts hit, according to the Associated Press. It was not immediately clear whether the dead were Christians.

Meanwhile, Iraq's political leaders are preparing to meet for the third day in a row over the formation of a new government eight months after an inconclusive election.

Many believe militants are exploiting the political vacuum created by the politicians' prolonged bickering over who should be the next prime minister.