A suicide bomber has killed himself and three others in an attack in Syria which some say was targeted at the head of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
According to ChristianToday.com, the suicide bomber detonated his bomb near a security checkpoint, but may have been trying to kill Syriac Orthodox Church Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II.
Some sources say the suicide bomber was disguised as a priest. He was reportedly stopped at a security checkpoint near Qamishly where an event was being held to honor the 1915 Assyrian genocide.
Patriarch Ignatius was presiding over the event, along with His Grace Mar Afram Athneil of the Assyrian Church of the East.
The suicide attacker detonated his bomb when security officials began questioning him. Three security guards were killed and five others were injured.
One security guard stated, "The suicide attacker tried to enter the hall where people were gathered but was stopped by local security forces, and he detonated himself among them.”
Another guard added that the bomber "detonated himself near our checkpoint after he couldn't reach his real target, Patriarch Ignatius.”
Qamishly’s Christian population has often been attacked, in what many see as an effort to drive all Christians out of their ancestral homelands.
Steve Oshana, the executive director of A Demand For Action, stated, "When a place like Qamishly, which in many ways represents the very soul of our existence in our ancestral homeland, comes under attack it underscores the need for us to support our local security forces.”
"We made a pledge from the beginning to support any of our people who pick up weapons and risk their lives in defence of our homeland,” he continued, “and it is a pledge that is renewed with each martyr whose young life we deliver to their final resting place."
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: June 20, 2016