MOSUL, Iraq, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- At least two people were killed and five injured on Wednesday in a powerful explosion near a church in central Mosul, the capital of northern Iraq's Nineveh province, a police source said.
The blast took place in the morning near a church in the al-Sa'ah neighborhood in central the city, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The police could not immediately say whether the powerful blast was caused by a car bomb or a roadside bomb, the source said.
Eight day ago, Mosul was the scene for a twin bombing, carried out by a booby-trapped cart and followed by a roadside bomb explosions near another church in the city, killing five people and wounding 40 others.
Islamic extremists have frequently targeted Christians since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, forcing tens of thousands to flee Iraq.
Iraq's Christian community has been estimated at 3 percent of Iraq's roughly 30 million people, and has a significant presence in the Nineveh province, which has been the scene of major security crackdowns by U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces to uproot the insurgency that erupted shortly after the U.S.-led invasion.
Special Report: Tension escalates in Iraq