Source: Google News
Wire Service: AP
Bombs targeted Iraqi Christians and Shiite Muslims Wednesday, killing at least eight people and wounding four dozen before coinciding religious observances that will take place under heavy guard.
Insurgents have routinely targeted Shiites and Christians in an attempt to undermine the country's security gains and its Shiite-dominated government. Security forces in recent days have been concerned that the Shiite holy observances known as Ashoura and Christmas gatherings would be targeted by large-scale attacks.
Ashoura marks the seventh-century death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein.
In the first of Wednesday's attacks, a bomb targeted a historic church in the northern city of Mosul a day before Christmas Eve services, killing two people and wounding five.
"Instead of performing Christmas Mass in this church, we will be busy removing rubble and debris," Hazim Ragheed, a priest at the church, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.