ASIA/IRAQ - Christian neighborhood of Mosul freed. Chaldean priest: not all refugees will return

Monday, 9 January 2017 oriental churches   jihadists   wars  

STR/EPA/Landov

Mosul (Agenzia Fides) - On Sunday, January 8 the Iraqi regular army regained control of al Sukkar, an area in eastern Mosul once inhabited mostly by Christian families. This is what local sources reported to online magazine ankawa.com. The area comprises at least 700 homes belonging to Christian owners, some of whom had been occupied by foreign militants of the Islamic State (Daesh).
Many of the homes in the neighborhood had been marked with the Arabic letter "Nun", the initial of the word Nasara, which means Christian, to indicate that those houses could be expropriated and were available to supporters of Daesh. The houses had been abandoned by Christians since, June 9, 2014, when Mosul had fallen into the hands of the jihadists of the Islamic State. According to reports from local sources, most of the buildings and also the pediatric hospital located in the neighborhood, were destroyed or damaged.
"News from Mosul need our attention", says to Agenzia Fides father Thabit Mekko, Chaldean priest of the north-Iraqi town, currently displaced in Erbil together with his faithful, "but the situation is still dangerous, there are snipers in roads and it is too early to think about a return of Christians who have fled from their homes. Such a case will be considered only when security is assured. Many families have not yet decided what they will do. Not all those who left Mosul in front of the advance of Daesh will return".
Meanwhile, Sunday, January 8 was marred by yet another bombing in the district of Jamila in Baghdad. A car bomb in a crowded wholesale market, claimed by Daesh, caused at least 12 dead and 50 wounded. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 09/01/2017)


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