Thousands of Christians flee as militant seize biggest minority town in Iraq

Posted: August 7, 2014 in World News

Iraq’s largest Christian town, Qaraqosh, was seized
by jihadists militants when Kurdish troops
withdrew overnight, fleeing residents and Christian
clerics told Agence France-Presse Thursday.

“I now know that the towns of Qaraqosh, Tal Kayf,
Bartella and Karamlesh have been emptied of their
original population and are now under the control
of the militants,” Joseph Thomas, the Chaldean
archbishop of Kirkuk and Sulaimaniyah, told AFP.

Several residents contacted by AFP confirmed that
the entire area in northern Iraq, home to a large
part of the country’s Christian community, had
fallen to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
jihadist group.

The towns were shelled in the past few days by
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.

The towns are among many in the area where
thousands of Christians who were forced to
abandon their homes in the main northern city of
Mosul last month had found refuge.
Some of them are less than 50 kilometers (30
miles) away from Arbil, the capital of the
autonomous region of Kurdistan.

source: Al Arabiya News


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