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2014-07-31

ASIA/IRAQ - Mosul, signs of revolt against the "Islamic Caliphate". Bishop Nona: So far no church has been destroyed

Mosul (Agenzia Fides) - After the destruction of historical monuments in the city of Mosul by militants of the Islamic State, the first local movement of armed resistance against the jihadists who have proclaimed the creation of an Islamic Caliphate in the region has taken form among the Inhabitants of Iraq's second city, on the border between Syria and Iraq. According to local witnesses, last weekend at least five Islamist militants were killed in targeted killings carried out by groups of young people who have organized themselves in armed resistance groups - the so-called "Mosul Brigades " - to counter the regime imposed on the city by the Islamists. The destruction, on July 24, at the hands of Sunni extremists of a revered shrine, which is believed to be the tomb of the biblical prophet Jonah, appeared to be the first sign of revolt against the Islamic State. The Islamists threaten to continue to raze the religious sites considered by them as an expression of idolatrous worship.
At present, the Chaldean Bishop of Mosul Amel Shimon Nona denies the rather alarmist news circulating on the Web about an alleged widespread destruction of churches and Christian places of worship: "Some churches and several buildings belonging to churches and Christian communities have been occupied" confirms the Chaldean Bishop to Fides Agency, "but so far there have been no destructions. What continues to upset me is the idea that the sufferings and problems of Christians in Iraq and the Middle East during this troubled period could become a pretext for alarmist operations and propaganda, evidently interested in achieving other ends". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 31/07/2014)

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