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Iraqi Christians flee ISIL fighting

Saturday, June 28, 2014 - 01:14

Thousands of Iraqi Christians sought refuge in Arbil in Iraq's Kurdistan region as ISIL fighters clashed with Peshmerga forces south of Mosul. Deborah Gembara reports.

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Thousands of Iraqi Christians have sought refuge near Arbil as fighting south of Mosul intensified. SOUNDBITE: DISPLACED CHRISTIAN, GEORGO KAROOMI, SAYING: "We fled bombardment by artillery, mortars and tanks. They bombed the district. People from here fighting with people from there and as a result all the houses of the people were destroyed, therefore we took our families and fled." Many here are from Qaraqosh, a predominantly Christian town where ISIL militants are fighting with Peshmerga forces. The UN refugee agency says as many as 10,000 Christians have been driven from their homes. Temporary camps like this one have gone up at schools and community centers throughout Arbil. Some here say they worried about being caught in the crossfire or worse, being targeted by Sunni militants. ISIL --- which is short for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ---has made lightening advances after seizing Mosul more then two weeks ago.

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Iraqi Christians flee ISIL fighting

Saturday, June 28, 2014 - 01:14