Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sound bombs terrify Christians in Erbil ahead of celebrations

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Erbil, Dec. 27 (AKnews) - Twin sound bomb explosions in Erbil city's Ainkawa town ahead of new year celebrations has spread fear among the dominant Christians of the town and the displaced Iraqi Christian residing there.Church in Ankawa

The explosion took place late Sunday night in front of a restaurant "Mnqal Jan" in Ainkawa, north west of Erbil, where hundreds of displaced Iraqi Christian families from central and southern Iraq have taken sanctuary.

The explosion did not cause any casualties except some damage to a nearby house.

Though sound bombs cause no serious damages, it could be an alert for the Christians who had found peace after fleeing their homes in the other parts of Iraq for fear of attacks by armed groups.

In November, insurgents attacked a church in Baghdad taking the church-goers and the priests hostage. while security forces were trying to raid the church to free the hostages, some 50 people including the attendants, priests, and security personnel were killed.

Armed groups have always tried to penetrate the security lines of the Kurdish cities, but have considerably failed to do so.

On November 1st, the suicide driver of a vehicle packed with around 450 kg of explosives was shot dead in one of the checkpoints that lead to Erbil city by security forces.

In contrast to the rest of Iraq, Christians of Ainkawa town, were preparing for the the New Year day celebrations because the Christians felt safe. But the sound bombs may deter them from merry-making.

Christians of other parts of Iraq have already announced plans that they will not celebrate Christmas and the new year day for fear of insurgent attacks. instead they would gather in one church.

Police forces are looking into the explosions and no group has claimed responsibility yet.

(Hemn Jamal contributed to this story, Edited by Raber Y. Aziz)

Monday, December 27th 2010 1:43 PM