295 Iraqi Christian families flee Mosul death threats
Some forty Christian families have fled the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Friday, bringing the number of Christian families who fled the city over the past three days to 295, a press spokesman for a political party with links to the Iraqi Christian community in Nineveh province has said, reported dpa.
"Due to death theats by insurgents some 295 Christian families fled the city to areas around the city," a spokesman for the Assyrian Democratic Movement told the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency.
The source said that the living conditions for the families were very poor, and many lacked basic health services.
Earlier a security source said that some 25 families fled Mosul on Wednesday followed by 50 families on Thursday for the fear of being targeted by armed groups.
According to Khaled Abdel-Sattar, a spokesman for Iraqi security forces in the area, five Christians have been killed in the past few days.
Iraqi Christians are one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. Large parts of the Iraqi Christian community emigrated to Syria and Jordan following the US-led invasion.
Christian groups have also recently protested the removal of article 50 of the provincial elections law, which passed through the Iraqi parliament last week. The article had guaranteed Christians certain rights of representation in local assemblies.
Also in Mosul, two civilians were killed and another twelve were injured when two bombs in two plastic bags were detonated simultaneously in a crowded area inside the city.
Separately, US forces in Iraq announced on its website the arrest of eight militants in Mosul. Mosul is located some 400 kilometres north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
At least 10 people were killed and another 20 were injured in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, al-Arabiya TV channel reported.
The blast took place in al-Dawra district south of Baghad.