Baghdad Bombings Kill 24, Iraqis Question Safety After US Withdrawal

A series of bombings in Baghdad has killed 24 people, however, according to some sources 29, and has wounded at least 35 others Thursday morning.

The three explosions took place in the morning, Baghdad time, in a mostly Shiite Sadr City area. The first bomb was attached to a motorcycle and detonated near a group of laborers who were searching for day jobs, CNN reported. Two other bombs were detonated nearby shortly afterwards.

The violence is sure to raise the question of civilian safety in the aftermath of the U.S. troop withdrawal, an issue debated by experts across the globe since the United States has formally ended the war in Iraq on Dec. 15.

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After nine years of engagement, which cost the lives of over 4,000 U.S. soldiers, American troops returned home for Christmas holidays – leaving Iraqis anxious about their safety in the face of buzzing sectarian conflicts in the country.

Earlier, on Dec. 22, bombings in the predominately Shiite parts of Iraq's capital killed 72.

The death of Saddam Hussein, whose deposition was the official reason for starting the war in 2003, released an array of sectarian rows that the dictator was reportedly managing to hold in check, multiple sources had informed The Christian Post.

The renewed violence also draws upon the great question that the Christian community in Iraq faces: how is the withdrawal of U.S. troops going to affect their safety?

Ever since the Iraq war started, the country has seen a surge in violence against religious minorities, including Christians.

A chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a bi-partisan governmental agency fighting for religious freedom of people across the globe, said in a recent interview he sees a realistic threat that Christianity in Afghanistan and Iraq could be eradicated in our lifetime.

Iraqi Christians are caught amidst political brawls between the majority Shiite Muslims, the Sunni Muslims and the Kurds (in the north) who are predominantly Muslim, experts say. Many have chosen to leave the country as a result.

According to a recent study by Minority Rights Group International, only 500,000 Christians currently remain in Iraq, as compared to between 800,000 and 1.4 million in 2003.

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