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Iraqi residents flee Kurdish capital

Friday, August 08, 2014 - 01:45

Thousands of Iraqi Christians flee the Kurdish capital Arbil as Islamist State militants make gains in north. Sarah Toms reports.

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They've left their homes and are fleeing for their lives from the militant Islamic State. These Christians are some of the tens of thousands of Iraqis who don't follow Islam, who've been threatened with death by the militant fighters if they don't abandon their faith. They're orginially from Mosul but the militants seized that area back in June so they fled to the nearby Kurdish capital Arbil, where they were protected by Peshmerga fighters. But the Kurdish forces trying to resist the Islamists are now in retreat. So they've come here to Baghdad, sleeping outdoors for days. They say they can't run any more. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SHABAK WOMAN DISPLACED FROM MOSUL, UMM RAJAB, SAYING: "We have been in camps for three months now. The attack took place at 12 o'clock (mid-day) and we came on foot to Khazer checkpoint and then this vehicle brought us here. We have stopped here because there is nowhere to go. There is no place to go to and no money to rent a house. We have nothing. My children and I have nothing." The militants have stormed across much of northern Iraq, seizing more and more land, redrawing the regional border. The UN Security Council has strongly condemned the latest attacks. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UK AMBASSADOR MARK LYALL GRANT SAYING: The members of the Security Council call on the international community to support the Government and people of Iraq and to do all it can to help alleviate the suffering of the population affected by the current conflict in Iraq. The desperate situation of minority groups in Iraq could prompt US military intervention. But for these Christians help couldn't come soon enough.

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Iraqi residents flee Kurdish capital

Friday, August 08, 2014 - 01:45