BaghdadStill reeling from an al-Qaeda assault on a Baghdad Catholic church that killed 68 people, Iraq’s Christians received further reason to grieve after gunmen killed two Christians in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, officials said Tuesday.

Days after the church slaughter, militants attacked houses of Christians across Baghdad, killing five people. The same al-Qaeda front group took responsibility for those assaults, saying both were in line with Islamic extremists’ resolve to strike Christians in Iraq and wherever they can be found.

In Tuesday’s attack, gunmen broke into the house of two Christian men and shot them, a police officer said, bringing the death toll among members of Iraq’s Christian community, who have fled en masse in the face of persecution after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, to 75 people this month.

The home of another Christian family in a different neighborhood of eastern Mosul was also bombed overnight. No one was killed, but the attack wounded a bystander.

Also Monday morning in Mosul, twin car bombs detonated outside a residential complex housing prison guards and staff killed a prison commander and his bodyguard.

Hundreds of terrified Christian families have fled Mosul to escape extremist attacks and sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite militias unleashed by the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Mosul is Iraq’s third largest city. Christians have lived there for some 1,800 years and a number of centuries-old churches and monasteries still stand.

The city is also a former Sunni insurgents stronghold where Iraqi Christians have been subjected to abductions and a killing campaign since 2007 when al-Qaeda militants controlled many parts of the city.

BY WorldMagBlog 
The Associated Press contributed to this report.