Iraqi Christian Community Deplores Attacks

BAGHDAD, Iraq, FEB. 13, 2004 ( The Christian community in Iraq is in mourning and condemns the terrorist attacks that ripped the country this week.

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«These crimes are the work of foreigners or Iraqis who are not patriots and do not want peace in their country,» Father Nizar Semaan told the Vatican agency Fides in the wake of terrorist attacks in Baghdad and Iskandariya which killed more than 100.

«Iraqi Christians firmly condemn these crimes whether they strike Iraqis or troops of the international coalition,» Father Semaan said.

«These attacks aim to destabilize the already fragile situation,» he added. «It is amazing to see that at the slightest signal of a return to normality, murderous hands are ready to strike causing death, destruction and terror.»

Many of the Iraqis killed in the back-to-back suicide bombings Tuesday and Wednesday were would-be volunteers looking to join the new police or military forces.

«They are aiming at the very people meant to reinstall Iraqi sovereignty and their aim is to keep the country in chaos,» Father Semaan continued.

«Nevertheless progress is being made,» he said. «Mosul has again regular electricity and work has begun to repair public buildings and schools.»

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