Church leaders in Iraq have appealed for peace and reconciliation after massive truck bombings struck Baghdad on Wednesday.
by Jennifer Gold
Enlarge this picturePeople gather at the bombing scene in front of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009. Nearly simultaneous truck bombs struck Iraq’s Foreign and Finance ministries on…
(AP) Six bombs went off at federal ministries, killing 101 people and wounding more than 1,000 people in Iraqâ€™s bloodiest day this year.
Iraqi officials have since apologised for failing to prevent the bombings in areas that should have been among the most heavily guarded.
One Baghdad church, Our Lady of Fatima, was reportedly badly damaged in the blasts. Latin-rite Archbishop Jean Sleiman of Baghdad told the Catholic News Service that he did not believe the church was specifically targeted and there were no casualties.
He said it was important in the current instability to give encouragement to Christians in Iraq, which is still reeling from bomb attacks on seven churches in Baghdad in July which killed four people.
â€œWe are shocked by this violence. The fear of violence is everywhere â€¦ Violence is hitting everyone,â€ he said.
Following Wednesdayâ€™s bombings, Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni appealed for reconciliation and urged other countries â€œto do what is best for Iraq, for the good of Iraq and its people, not their own interestsâ€.
â€œThe peace depends on love, to love one another and to do the best for each other, not our selfishness,â€ he said.
â€œWhen thereâ€™s no peace, we canâ€™t study, we canâ€™t pray, we canâ€™t work, we canâ€™t even walk.â€
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has ordered a security review after holding urgent meetings with security ministers on Thursday.
The attack came less than two months after the US withdrew its troops from urban areas and handed control to Iraqi forces.