Militants in Iraq targeted Christians in two separate bomb attacks in Baghdad today, killing at least 37 people. In one attack, a car bomb went off near a church during Christmas Mass in the capital's southern Dora neighborhood, killing at least 26 people and wounding 38, a police officer said. A little bit earlier, a bomb ripped through an outdoor market in the nearby Christian section of Athorien, killing 11 people and wounding 21, the officer added. Separately, the AP reports that the US embassy in Kabul was hit by indirect fire this morning; no one was injured.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but Iraq's dwindling Christian community, which is estimated to number about 400,000 to 600,000 people, has often been targeted by al-Qaeda and other insurgents who see the Christians as unbelievers. Along with Christians, other targets include civilians in restaurants, cafes, or crowded public areas, as well as Shiites and members of the Iraqi security forces. A medical official confirmed the casualty figures. (Read more Christmas stories.)