The official speaking on condition of anonymity said that “Two mortar shells and 10 homemade bombs targeted the homes of Christians in different neighbourhoods of Baghdad between 6:00 am and 8:00 am”
“The toll is three dead and 26 wounded.”
The attacks come 10 days after 44 Christian worshippers, two priests and seven security forces personnel died during the seizure of a Baghdad cathedral by extremist militants and the ensuing shootout when it was stormed by troops.
On Tuesday, three homes in the Mansur district of western Baghdad belonging to Christians were firebombed without causing any casualties, an interior ministry source said.
On November 3, al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the Baghdad cathedral bloodbath and warned it would further step up attacks on Christians.
The extremists said they had carried out the church attack to force the release of converts to Islam allegedly being detained by the Coptic Church in Egypt. Days afterwards it declared Christians everywhere “legitimate targets.”
A senior Iraqi clergyman said at the weekend Iraq’s Christians should leave the country or face being killed at the hands of al Qaeda. “If they stay they will be finished, one by one,” Archbishop Athanasios Dawood told the BBC.
Iraq’s premier however on Tuesday cautioned other countries not to encourage Christians to abandon their homeland, after France took in dozens of people wounded in the October 31 cathedral attack.
French Immigration Minister Eric Besson has said this fitted France’s “tradition of asylum” to take them in, and that asylum would be “handed out generously” to those who seek it.
France plans a second evacuation flight in the coming weeks to bring out a further 93 Christians.
Besson said that 1,300 Iraqi Christians had been granted asylum in France since autumn 2007, an acceptance rate of 85 percent for asylum-seekers from among the community.
On his first visit to the church targeted on October 31, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said that at a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 he had asked the pontiff “not to let the east be emptied of Christians, nor the West of Muslims.”
“The countries that have welcomed the victims … of this attack (on the church) have done a noble thing, but that should not encourage emigration,” he said on a visit to the Syriac Catholic cathedral where the massacre occurred.