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Christmas Day bombings in Iraq's capital kill dozens

Dec 26th, 2013 - International News

BAGHDAD (AP) — Officials in Iraq say militants targeted Christians in three separate Christmas Day bombings in Baghdad, killing at least 37 people.

In one attack, police say a car bomb went off near a church, killing at least 26 people and wounding 38.

Earlier, they say two bombs ripped through an outdoor market in a Christian neighborhood, killing 11 people and wounding 21.

The Iraq-based leader of the Chaldean Catholic Church, Louis Sako, said the parked car bomb exploded after Christmas Mass and that no worshippers were hurt. Sako said he didn't believe the church was the target.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but Iraq's dwindling Christian community often has been targeted by al-Qaida and other insurgents who see Christians as heretics.

In Britain, the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, said the Christmas bombings show the dangers faced by "the ever more seriously threatened Christian communities of the Middle East."

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