Bomb Rattles Catholic Orphanage in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, Iraq, SEPT. 22, 2004 ( A bomb exploded next to the orphanage run by the Missionaries of Charity, causing considerable damage to the property.

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The 22 orphans of the institution were playing when the bomb went off Saturday, according to Claudio Monici, a reporter for the Italian newspaper Avvenire.

The orphanage’s windows were shattered with the exception of those of the room where the children were playing.

The residence is called Dar al-Mahabha, or House of Love. It shelters children with severe psychophysical dysfunctions, neurological malformations and genetic problems.

The bomb was hidden between the sidewalk, on which the residence is located, and a car parked some six meters from the entrance. The car was destroyed in the explosion.

«What do these innocent children have to do with what is going on?» asked one of the Indian nuns.

Until a year ago, American women soldiers brought toys for the children in the orphanage. After two attacks on that street, however, the nuns had to ask them to stop visiting.

Last August, several Christian churches were attacked in Iraq.

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