Two wounded in attack on Baghdad church

Gunmen opened fire on St. Mary Assyrian Church Tuesday morning, wounding two security guards.

According to a story by the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), a source in the interior ministry said the gunmen were traveling in a civilian car when they fired a barrage of bullets at the church, which is located in the Ameen Thania neighborhood in eastern Baghdad.

AINA said the guards were taken to Al Kindi hospital, where one is listed in serious condition.

According to AINA, 73 churches have been attacked or bombed since June 2004, including Tuesday’s attack. Forty five of the churches attacked were in Baghdad, 19 in Mosul, eight in Kirkuk and one in Ramadi.

AINA said the first church was bombed on June 26, 2004. This bombing marked the start of what AINA called a low grade genocide on the Assyrians of Iraq.

Since 2004 the population of Assyrians in Iraq has dropped from 1.4 million to 600,000.

AINA said Assyrians have fled Iraq to Syria, Jordan and Turkey