Six Iraqis were killed and 33 others were wounded in a series of terrorist attacks that targeted houses owned by Christians in Baghdad on Wednesday morning (November 10th), Iraqi security forces said.
"A series of terrorist attacks, mostly carried out by improvised explosive devices, targeted houses owned by Christian citizens, killing and wounding a number of innocent victims," said Maj. Khalil Ahmed of Baghdad Operations Room, al-Rasafa Sector.
Ahmed told Mawtani that the attacks mainly targeted the areas of al-Dora, Camp Sara, al-Karrada, al-Khadhraa, al-Mashtal, and Zayouna. Six Iraqis were killed, including four Christians and two Muslims. Thirty-three others were also wounded in the attacks.
The attacks took place between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. as terrorists detonated ten bombs and launched two mortar shells.
Meanwhile, four other explosives were discovered by security forces. The explosive ordnance disposal unit detonated these explosives without causing any damages after they evacuated citizens from the area.
Al-Qaeda accused of attacks across Baghdad
Ahmed said al-Qaeda carried out the bombings as part of a desperate plan to return to the spotlight. He also accused al-Qaeda of targeting Sunni and Shia Muslims recently.
Three bombs exploded simultaneously near Issa Ben Mariam Church in Camp Sara area in eastern Baghdad, killing one Christian citizen and wounding 12 others.
Two civilians were wounded when an IED targeting their house in al-Ghadeer neighborhood, east of Baghdad, exploded.
Two more people were killed and eight others were wounded when two bombs exploded in al-Sinaa neighborhood.
A mortar shell fell and three bombs exploded in al-Dora area, southern Baghdad, wounding three citizens.
Three more citizens were killed and eight others were wounded in attacks in different areas across Baghdad, where terrorists targeted houses and apartments owned by Iraqi Christians.
"A special committee has been formed to investigate the series of attacks against Christian Iraqis," said Baghdad police spokesperson Lt. Col. Talib Mushtaq. "It is a new episode of terrorism exercised by the terrorist gangs in Iraq."
Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Askari, spokesperson for the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, told Mawtani that security forces were proceeding with their investigations and have discovered information on the attackers.
He added that the arrests of those responsible would be announced soon.
"I do not know where the jihad is that those terrorists are looking for in a small child or an old woman," said Dr. Feras Abdullah, of al-Kendi Public Hospital, where some of the wounded women and children were taken.
'Our nation is for everyone'
Sheikh Faisal al-Hendawi, a member of the Permanent Fatwa Committee, said his organization issued a fatwa in response to the attacks.
"We decided to issue a fatwa that not only prohibits the targeting of Christians, but also prohibits and criminalizes those who do not provide services and assistance to them," he told Mawtani.
Boutros Korkis, 45, said his Muslim neighbors were quick to help when there was an attack in his area.
"After the blast, I returned home quickly as I was at work at that time," he said. "I found the Muslim residents of my neighborhood surrounding my house like a mother who holds her children in a time of danger. They were even ready to die to prevent any terrorist from attacking my house."
Baghdad resident Abdullah Mohammed said al-Qaeda's goal is clearly to sow fitna, violence, and discrimination among Iraqis.
"However, shouldn't they have said in their statement on the internet that their campaign is to target innocent Iraqi citizens?! This would have been better, because in this case, the world would know them for who they really are," he said.
Sallam Khalid, 36, lives next to an Iraqi Christian.
"My friend and neighbor Jameel, I will not let anyone pass over to your house," he said. "And whoever wants to do that will have to go over my dead body. We have only one destiny. Religion is for God, and our nation is for everyone."