Monday, August 02, 2004

Church Bombings


As you may have heard on the news by now, the Armenian and Syrian Catholic churches a few blocks from here, and two Chaldean Churches across the city, were bombed during high mass yesterday evening. Several of our colleagues’ family members suffered minor cuts and abrasions from flying debris and some bruising from being trampled in the ensuing confusion.

The explosions rattled the office building. I could also hear the other two explosions in the far distance. Several people arrived at the office a few minutes later, shaken but themselves OK except as described. I cleaned them up, dressed their wounds, and offered what support I could. At least three were killed--I think at the Armenian Church--and a couple of dozen injured, but I will not have the full report until later today. (OK it is later, and the death toll is now above 20).

The community took the immediate precaution of closing the Christian clubs and offices, so I have been unable to email. Needless to say I myself am fine, and other colleagues came over for coffee yesterday evening. I was awakened once by gunshots in the street outside, but nothing seemed to come of it.

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