Friday, November 26, 2010

Iraq: Death threats continue to menace nation's Christians

A dead sparrow lies at the scene of a car bomb attack in front of a Syrian Catholic Church, in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday Nov. 1, 2010

Baghdad Nov. 26 (AKI) - Fresh death threats against Christians residing in Iraq are terrorising families and inciting them to flee, according to reports from 'al-Hayat' newspaper, which cites interviews from Iraqi security officials.

Seven hand written messages for which Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility were found in various locations throughout the city, Abdullah al-Nawafili, a Christian community leader in the Iraqi capitol, Baghdad confirmed.

"Threats of these types have been coming in over the past few days that push us to leave the country," he said.

The messages were delivered to the Camp Sara neighbourhoods of Baghdad which is home to a predominantly Christian population as well as the districts al-Amin and Baghdad al-Jadid and were written on white paper resembling doctors prescription pads. "Leave Iraq immediately or you will be killed by us," the notes read.

The report comes less than a month after 58 Christians were killed in an attack on a Christan church in Baghdad's al-Karrada neighbourhood of the same name. Subsequent attacks in the Iraqi capital have claimed more lives.

Earlier this month, Iraqi president Jalal Talabani said Christians would be safe from sectarian attack if they temporarily moved to Kurdistan in the country's north until Iraq's leaders could guarantee their security.

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