Two churches bombed in Baghdad


 Two churches in Baghdad were attacked by car bombs yesterday. At least six people were killed in the blasts. A further 52 have been injured. Officials said the explosions shook the Iraqi capital as US forces launched their offensive on Fallujah. The two car bombs hit churches in southern Baghdad in rapid succession at sundown. The first went off near the St. George's Church, a US army spokesman said. Witnesses reported that the explosion ripped a huge crater in the ground. The burned out remains of a car were seen nearby. Armed men in several cars approached the church from every direction, said one neighbour . "They were wearing police uniforms and asked us to leave the area. We saw them approach the church door ... (then) we heard an explosion," he said. The second car bomb detonated minutes later, less than a mile away, outside St Matthew Church, killing three people and wounding 34. Again witnesses said a group of armed, masked men drove up in a pickup truck to the front of the church. Seconds later there was a huge explosion. The casualties were mainly people living nearby. Later in the evening, an explosion hit near Yarmouk Hospital in western Baghdad, when two mortar rounds were fired at police cars parked outside, killing at least three Iraqi policemen.

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