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Bombers target Baghdad churches – again

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Ahmed Malik/Reuters

(Read caption) Iraqi policemen stand guard outside a Christian church after a bomb attack in Baghdad Sunday.

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It takes a certain amount of courage to attend a church in Iraq.

In the past 24 hours, bombs exploded outside of six churches in various Baghdad neighborhoods, killing at least four people, and wounding more than 30, according to a Reuters report from the Iraqi capital.

Sunday’s attacks were among the worst, in terms of the death toll. But many of these same churches have been bombed before. On Jan. 6, 2008 – also a Sunday – seven churches (four in Baghdad, three in Mosul) were hit in a similar round of bombings. Two years earlier, four churches (three in Baghdad, 1 in Kirkuk) were bombed – also on a Sunday in January.

The Assyrian (Christian) International News agency reports that 52 Assyrian churches have been bombed in Iraq between June 2004 and the end of 2008.

The latest attacks come in the wake of the US withdrawal of combat troops (on June 30) from most Iraqi cities.

"The terrorists are determined to hamper the political process in Iraq and not let Iraqis live in peace even after the withdrawal of foreign forces from the cities," Younadem Kana, a Christian lawmaker, told the Associated Press. "We demand that the Iraqi government take all necessary measures to protect Christians in Baghdad, and in all of Iraq."

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