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Updated: November 2, 2010 16:05 IST

France offers asylum to 150 Iraqi Christians

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France's Immigration Minister Eric Besson. File photo: AP.
France's Immigration Minister Eric Besson. File photo: AP.

France has offered to grant asylum to 150 Iraqi Christians, including some of those wounded in Sunday’s deadly siege on a Baghdad church.

French Immigration Minister Eric Besson, says the decision is in accordance with France’s tradition as a safe haven for persecuted minorities.

Mr. Besson said in a statement late Monday that France has been taking in Iraqi Christians since 2007. Some 1,300 Iraqi Christians have received asylum under the programme, which is run jointly with the United Nations refugee agency.

Sunday’s attack on the Our Lady of Salvation church in Baghdad killed 58 people and wounded 78. The Islamic State of Iraq, which has links to al—Qaeda in Iraq, appeared to claim responsibility for the attack.

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