Syria: Muslim disguised as priest murders three at Assyrian genocide commemoration


“It is believed the bomber was targeting Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II Karim of the Syriac Orthodox Church, who was leading the commemoration.” The Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II Karim must have provoked them in some way, right? Maybe he drew Muhammad, or stated that Islam wasn’t actually a religion of peace? Was it that he was commemorating the Assyrian genocide, which was perpetrated by Muslims, such that Christians should, rather than commemorating it, maintain a careful and respectful silence about it? Or maybe he simply dared to be a Christian in an area where being one can all too easily be taken as an insult to Islam and an affront to Muslims.

Patriarch Aphrem

“Suicide Bomber Targets Assyrian Event in Syria, 3 Killed,” AINA, June 19, 2016:

Qamishle, Syria (AINA) — A suicide bomber disguised as a priest attempted to enter an Assyrian genocide commemoration event in the al-Wusta district of Qamishle but was stopped by Assyrian forces. The bomber detonated his bomb outside the hall, killing himself and three members of the Assyrian Sutoro security forces and wounding five. It is believed the bomber was targeting Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II Karim of the Syriac Orthodox Church, who was leading the commemoration….

This is the fourth attack on Assyrians in Qamishle in the past six months:

  • May 22, 2016: an attack by ISIS in the Assyrian al-Wusta district of Qamishle, Syria killed at least five persons, three of them Assyrians, and injured more than a dozen.
  • January 24, 2016: Two explosions rocked an Assyrian neighborhood in Qamishli. The first targeted the Star Cafe, where a bomb was placed on a bicycle that was left in front of the store. The explosion killed 3 Assyrians and injured 20. The second blast targeted Joseph Bakery.
  • December 30,2015: Three explosions targeted Assyrian businesses in Qamishli, 16 were killed.

No one has claimed responsibility for the latest attack.

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