Baghdad Attacks Fuel Christian Fears

11iraqspan-cnd-articlelarge1.jpgKhalid Mohammed/Associated Press Three people were reported killed and about 25 wounded in several bombings and mortar blasts that targeted Christian neighborhoods on Wednesday in Baghdad.
BAGHDAD — A spate of bombs exploded outside the homes of several Christian families across Baghdad early Wednesday, compounding a sense of fear and vulnerability among Iraqi Christians 10 days after a bloody siege at a church here.
Three people were reported killed and about 25 wounded in several bombings and mortar blasts.
At least some of the casualties were not Christians. Residents of the Kamsara neighborhood, where a car bomb blew up outside a Christian family’s house, said one of the dead included a Muslim man who had run outside to offer help and was killed in a secondary blast.
The house belonged to relatives of a man who was one of 58 people killed in the attack on the church, the Syrian Catholic Our Lady of Salvation. It was the worst massacre of Iraqi Christians since the American-led invasion in 2003.
Well-wishers had hung a mourning banner on the home in Kamsara to commemorate the family’s loss. On Wednesday, the relatives said the banner must have served as an invitation for the attackers.
“They want the family, too, not just our dead,” said the slain man’s brother-in-law, who gave his name as Kareem Peter.
He and his family hastily left the home within hours, saying they would spend the night at a church. “We can’t sleep here,” he said. “They will come and kill us.”
In another neighborhood, Linda Jalal, 35, said neighbors had seen men slip a bomb under her family’s car at about 6 a.m. Wednesday, perhaps noticing the crucifix in its window. Ms. Jalal said the police were called, but the bomb exploded before help arrived, incinerating the car and shattering the windows of her family’s home.
No one was hurt, but Ms. Jalal and several of her relatives, standing behind their front gate, said the blast had chipped away at their sense of security.
Ms. Jalal said she had pulled her children out of school after the church attack, and she and relatives spoke of the need to change houses, but said they did not know where to find safety.
“They are targeting the Christians,” Ms. Jalal said. “We don’t know why. We don’t have any power.”