Iraq Archbishop Unharmed in Attack on His Residence

Two Dead After Shots Fired

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ROME, JAN. 12, 2012 ( The Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk in northern Iraq was unharmed when gunmen fired multiple shots outside his residence Wednesday.

Neither Archbishop Louis Sako nor his staff were hurt in the incident, which police attributed to terrorists from Baghdad, according to Vatican Radio.

A car passed by with a driver and two passengers and shots were fired. Guards responded and two of the assailants were killed, and the other arrested. A number of policemen were injured.

«These two criminals were from Baghdad, and I think their goal was not the archdiocese,» Archbishop Sako told Vatican Radio. «We do not know for sure, but I believe they had the wrong target.»

The archbishop explained that his residence is on a main road, where there are many police and soldiers. He believed that the gunmen were not sure where to go. Then, finding themselves face to face with the security guards they shot, without knowing whose house it was.

<p>According to local authorities police suspect that Jala Niftaji, a Turkmen member of the Iraqi parliament, might have been the target. Her home was attacked three days prior to the shootings.

«It’s also true that the situation is a bit tense, and there is no order or control in the country,» the archbishop continued. «We, however, were not afraid, at least not immediately.»

Archbishop Sako explained that at the moment of the attack he was on his way back from a parish visit and when he arrived he went to comfort the guards and other people.

In the afternoon they were scheduled to celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving.

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