MOSUL, Iraq (AFP) – More Christian families have quit their homes in Mosul, a local official said on Monday, as the United Nations voiced concern at the community’s plight in the northern Iraqi city.
One Christian was killed and his nephew wounded late on Sunday when gunmen opened fire in the eastern neighbourhood of Hay al-Ekhaa, the latest in a spate of a dozen murders of Christians in the city over the past fortnight.
But there were no reports of violence on Monday after nearly 1,000 additional police moved into the city.
The violence that began late last month has provoked the exodus of more than 1,000 Christian families since Friday, although the numbers of those leaving had started to drop since the police reinforcements arrived on Sunday, according to the head of Mosul’s bureau of displaced people, Jaweat Ismael.
Another 109 families had quit the city on Sunday and Monday, Ismael said, although there was “no new wave of displacements.”
An AFP correspondent said Mosul was filled with police manning checkpoints and patrolling churches and residential neighbourhoods in the multi-religious city while volunteer organisations, including the Red Crescent and various church groups, were handing out food and water.
But Jamil Jeto Abdul Ahad, who heads an inter-faith Christian council in the city, was critical of the help offered by the authorities.
“The assistance from the government is very little. We call on the international community to help,” he told AFP….