West Bank churches attacked over Pope comments

Two churches in the West Bank were hit by firebombs early Saturday, witnesses and clergy said, and a group claiming responsibility said the attacks were meant as a protest against comments by Pope Benedict XVI about Islam. The firebombs left black scorch marks on the walls and windows of a Roman Catholic and an Anglican church in the West Bank city of Nablus. Father Yousef, a priest at the Anglican Church, said several firebombs hit the outside wall of the church. In a phone call to The Associated Press, a group calling itself the "Lions of Monotheism" claimed responsibility. The caller said the attacks were carried out to protest the pope's remarks about Islam. During a speech earlier this week, Benedict had cited an obscure Medieval text that characterizes some of the teachings of Islam's founder as "evil and inhuman."