37 worshippers taken hostage in a central Baghdad church are dead.

This is not good.  Get praying folks, there could be as many as 40 hostages including women and children.

Baghdad, Oct 31 (DPA) Members of the Al Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq were holding hostages inside a church in central Baghdad Sunday and had threatened to kill them if security forces, who have surrounded the building, tried to enter.

‘An armed attack targeted the Sayedat al-Najah Church in al-Karrada, central Baghdad,’ Qassem Atta, spokesman for Baghdad Operations Command, told state-run Iraqiya TV. ‘Security forces are cordoning off the church and dealing with the situation,’ he added.

The militants were demanding the release of Al Qaeda members in Iraq and Egypt, Al-Baghdadiya TV reported.

Witnesses told DPA that the church was targeted during the Sunday service, adding that the sound of gunfire could be heard across al-Karrada.

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It was not clear how many people were being held inside the church, but women and children were reportedly among the hostages.

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Further Media Links:

AlJazeera – Attackers set off three bombs in Christian church in central Baghdad before clashing with security forces.

BBC – Gunmen have taken around 40 worshippers hostage in a central Baghdad church, Iraqi police say.

UPDATE: It looks like police may have stormed the church, no concrete details yet:

Associtaed Press – Iraqi police stormed a Catholic church Sunday night in downtown Baghdad in pursuit of gunmen who were holding as many as 10 people hostage inside.

Aswat al-Iraq – Security forces besiege church where gunmen keep hostages

BBC ticker tape is currently reporting:

BREAKING NEWS: Iraqi forces storm church where around 40 Christians were being held hostage, reports say

Keep praying folks.

Associated Press reporting the siege has ended with as many as 100 hostages freed, no details on casualties as yet.

It looks as if there were some tragic losses:

CNN – Iraqi forces storm church to end standoff; 7 hostages killed

The Sydney Morning Herald has the number of hostages dead as 37 and Yahoo has the figure at 52. Either way it turned into a bloody massacre.

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One Response to “37 worshippers taken hostage in a central Baghdad church are dead.”

  1. Mass celebrated in Syrian Catholic Church of Our Lady of Deliverance in Baghdad, one week after the attack and massacre of Christians | eChurch Christian Blog Says:

    [...] on Sunday at the Syrian Catholic Church of Our Lady of Deliverance in Baghdad, one week after the horrific bloodbath in which dozens of Christians were [...]

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