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Iraqi Car Bomb Near Church Kills Dozens

Security officials say a car bomb has exploded near a church in the Iraqi capital as Christians celebrated Christmas Day, killing at least 26 people.

The blast on December 25 in the Dura area, of south Baghdad, also wounded at least 28 people.

A little bit earlier, a bomb ripped through an outdoor market in the nearby Christian section of Athorien, killing 11 people.

Iraq's Christian population sharply declined in the years of sectarian violence that followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of the country.

Estimates of the number of Christians living in Iraq before 2003 vary from more than one million to around 1.5 million.

But now they are estimated to be fewer than 500,000.

More than 6,650 people have been killed in Iraq since the beginning of 2013.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters

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