'At least eight people have been killed in attacks targeting Christians and Shi'ite Muslims as they prepare to observe coinciding holidays.
A bomb exploded near a historic church in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul Wednesday, killing two people in the latest attack targeting the city's Christian minority.
The attack wounded five people and caused damage to the Church of St. Thomas, which dates back to the eighth century. The bombing came a day before Christians are due to celebrate Christmas Eve.
Islamic militants in Iraq have frequently targeted Christians since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, driving many to flee the country.
In Baghdad, police say three separate bombings targeting Shi'ite worshipers killed at least six people and wounded about 40 others.
The attacks came as Shi'ites gathered to observe the solemn Ashura holiday, which marks the seventh-century killing of the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.'