Israeli army destroys Christian shrine by mistake

 An ancient church in the Holy Land was blown up by the Israeli army on Saturday. The 5th century Orthodox shrine of St Barbara, located near the village of Abud, about 15 kilometres from Ramallah, was reduced to rubble when soldiers detonated explosives they had attached to the doors. An army spokesman said the solders had been looking for Palestinian terrorists. "Nothing made us think that it was a church. It looked like a grotto," he told a press conference. The spokesman admitted that the building had been damaged and said the army had apologised to the Palestinians in charge. A church spokesman said the shrine, which was built inside a cave, has been destroyed. (See letters page).

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