The jihadis meant the bomb to hurry the kids off to school, but what can you do? Collateral damage is sometimes unavoidable. “More Christian blood in Mosul, car bomb kills Christian university student,” from AsiaNews, January 8 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
Mosul (AsiaNews) – More Christian blood was shed today in Mosul, northern Iraq. A Christian university student was in fact killed by a car bomb, a day after the body of a 54-year-old Christian teacher, Shdha Elias, was found, her throat cut.
These deaths, involving members of the Christian minority, are an illustration of the rising tensions in the city and across the country as Sunnis, Shias, Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen vye for power and control.
Against a backdrop of a Kurdish president, Jalal Talabani, still in poor health after suffering a stroke last month, and persistent political uncertainty, tensions are fast rising. The inability of the central government in Baghdad to cope with terrorist attacks is not helping either.
In Mosul, the car bomb exploded this morning in front of a supermarket in al Alamia, near the city’s university, local sources told AsiaNews.
The dead man was Ayyoub Fauzi Auyyoub Al Sheikh, a Christian medical student on his last year of study. Eyewitnesses said he died instantly, and that dozens of people were wounded from the blast, which caused major material damages.
For the past two weeks, the atmosphere in the city has been getting worse, the more so since the local administration and the central government in Baghdad have been involved in a tug-of-war.
The city’s governor, Athil Al Nujjaifi, is a member of an Islamist party close to the Muslim Brotherhood. He is also the brother of Ussama Al Nujjaifi, speaker of the National Assembly.
“Sunnis control the cities of Anbar, Diala, Salah addin’, Tikrit, Mosul and Kirkuk with Kurdish support,” Iraq experts explained. Their alliance is in opposition to Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, who is a Shia. Their aim is “to divide the country into enclaves.”
Minorities are the biggest losers from all this, including Christians who have no power base or group that can defend their interests.
Since the US invasion of 2003, which led to the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s Christian community lost more than half of its members.
In the case of the Christian teacher, whose body was found yesterday, other anonymous sources said that she “lived alone” and was “an easy target for criminals.” For them, she “was probably killed during a robbery.” Yesterday, after her body was recovered and prepared, she was buried right away.
In the past, Mosul saw other major Christian figures murdered, including abducted Bishop Faraj Rahho, and Fr Ragheed Ganni. (DS)