A total of 26 of those injured in terrorist attacks on Baghad's Our Lady of Deliverance Church on Oct. 31 have been brought to Rome for emergency medical attention.
Rome's Gemelli Hospital admitted 17 women, seven men and three children on the evening of Nov. 12 just after their arrival by military aircraft. The 26 were met by a "multidisciplinary task force" at their disposal, according to a note from the hospital.
More than 50 people died and least at least 70 people were injured nearly a week ago when gunmen burst into Baghdad's Syrian Catholic cathedral during the celebration of the Mass. According to Vatican Radio as many as 68 people were killed by bullets and suicide bombs.
Two priests were among the dead and one was seriously injured.
The 26 attack victims brought to Rome are now in the hands of emergency doctors, trauma specialists, neurosurgeons, pediatricians, psychiatrists and cultural mediators and other health professionals.
An appeal by Holy See’s Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to the Italian government made their transfer possible.
Iraq's top diplomats to Italy and the Holy See thanked Italy for the action and pledged their collaboration towards the "complete healing of the injured and their return to Iraq."
Iraq's chief consul in Italy Ali Shahwani said that Christians and their faith, just as all people and faiths in Iraq, "must be defended."