updated 11/12/2010 10:53:55 AM ET 2010-11-12T15:53:55

Italy is airlifting 26 Iraqis injured in a militant attack on one of Baghdad's main Catholic churches to Rome for treatment.

The Foreign Ministry says it is acting on the request of the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. An Italian C130 cargo plane with the injured was due to land Friday.

Sixty-eight people were killed when militants stormed the Our Lady of Salvation Church on Oct. 31 during Sunday Mass. The militants shot congregants, held others hostage, then set off bombs when Iraqi forces came to the rescue.

The Vatican denounced the attack and others that have targeted Iraq's besieged Christian community.

The injured, accompanied by 21 family members, are being treated at Rome's Gemelli hospital.

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