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Iraqi forces bombing Mosul, forcing new civilian exodus

Catholic World News - July 03, 2014

Bombing raids by the Iraqi air force have prompted a new exodus of civilians from the city of Mosul, the Fides news service reports.

Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Amel Shamon Nona of Mosul told Fides that Muslim families are fleeing from Mosul, as the Iraqi air force steps up its campaign against the Sunni Muslim militants of the Islamic State, who captured the city early in June.

Christians had already fled Mosul in the wake of the takeover by Islamic forces. While some Muslim groups had guarded Christian churches to prevent looting, Archbishop Nona reported that the protection was breaking down and armed groups had ransacked at least two churches.

Families leaving Mosul have sought temporary refuse in the Nineveh Plains, where a shortage of water and lack of access to electricity are creating humanitarian emergencies. The future of Christians in the region, caught between the Islamic State and Kurdish separatists, is uncertain.

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