- - Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Militants attack camp housing Iranian exiles

BAGHDAD | A security official said militants fired a Katyusha rocket at a camp housing several thousand Iranian exiles in northeastern Iraq.

The Diyala province official said the attack on Camp Ashraf took place late Tuesday. It was the second rocket attack on the camp this week.

The unarmed Iranian group - known as the People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran - was a one-time ally of Saddam Hussein in a common fight against Iran.

The rocket fell near housing units inside the camp but there were no casualties, the group said Wednesday.

Under an agreement with the United Nations and the Iraqi government, the residents are to move to a new location in Baghdad in coming days.


Clergymen start fighting during annual church cleaning

BETHLEHEM | The annual cleaning of one of Christianity’s holiest churches turned into a brawl between rival clergy Wednesday, as dozens of monks feuding over sacred space at the Church of the Nativity battled each other with brooms until police intervened.

The ancient church, built over the traditional site of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, is shared by three Christian denominations - Roman Catholic, Armenian Apostolic and Greek Orthodox.

Wednesday’s fight erupted between Greek and Armenian clergy, with both sides accusing each other of encroaching on parts of the church to which they lay claim.

The monks were tidying up the church ahead of Orthodox Christmas celebrations in early January, following celebrations by Western Christians on Christmas Day. The fight erupted between monks along the border of their respective areas. Some shouted and hurled brooms.

Palestinian security forces rushed in to break up the melee, and no serious injuries were reported.


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