Christians in Iraq gathered together to remember the Sayfo Massacre, in which the Ottoman Empire slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Christians from 1914 to 1918. A Muslim terrorist entered, disguised as a priest, and blew himself up, slaughtering three Christians. As we read in one report:
A suicide bomber disguised as a priest killed three people at an event commemorating the massacre of Christians more than a century ago in Qamishli, Syria. The assailant is believed to have targeted the head of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II.
According to Al Arabiya, the attack took place as locals gathered at a hall to commemorate the deaths of tens of thousands of Christians by the Ottoman army starting in 1915 in what is known as the Sayfo (“Sword”) massacre. Patriarch Ignatius presided over the event, which was also attended by His Grace Mar Afram Athneil of the Assyrian Church of the East.
The suicide bomber, disguised as a priest, reportedly detonated his bomb when he was questioned by Sutoro security officials at a checkpoint outside a hall, killing himself and three guards, and wounding five others.
One guard told AFP: “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 said the attacker “detonated himself near our checkpoint after he couldn’t reach his real target, Patriarch Ignatius”.
Syriac Christians belong to the eastern Christian tradition and pray in Aramaic. They include both Orthodox and Catholic branches, and constitute around 15 percent of Syria’s 1.2 million Christians. AINA notes that this incident was the fourth terrorist attack in Wusta, a predominantly Assyrian and Armenian neighborhood in Qamishli.