ERBIL – Extremists of the Islamic State (ISIS) have reportedly burned hundreds of Christian books in the city of Mosul, northern Iraq, under the pretext they are “books of infidels”, local sources reported on Sunday.
“ISIS jihadis burned hundreds of Christian textbooks in central Mosul, having collected them earlier last week from the schools and churches of the city,” local media activist Abdullah al-Mulla told ARA News in Mosul.
“The militants have also collected a lot of Christian textbooks from the Dawassa district near the Martyrs’ Park and publically burned them,” the source reported.
Local activists in Mosul circulated last Thursday a videotape on social media, showing remnants of burned Christian textbooks piled up east of the city in northern Iraq.
The ISIS radical group claimed that these books are burned because they belong to “infidels”, in reference to the Christians.
“I wish I were in my hometown Mosul right now, but we can’t come back to our areas and live with Daesh,” an Iraqi Christian refugee in Germany told ARA News, using an acronym for ISIS.
“We escaped from Mosul to Erbil (capital of Kurdistan Region) in August 2014,” he said. “The fighting was ongoing between Daesh and the Peshmerga.”
“It was difficult to stay there as a Christian,” he stressed.
The city of Mosul in Nineveh province of northern Iraq saw mass displacement among the residents after ISIS took over the region in June, 2014, especially among the Christian community. Those who insisted to remain are reportedly under great pressure.
In August 2014, ISIS extremists had taken control of Shingal, causing a mass displacement of nearly 400,000 Yezidi civilians towards Duhok and Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan. Tens of thousands of Yezidis remained trapped in Mount Sinjar, suffering mass killings, kidnappings and rape at the hands of ISIS extremists. Also, more than 3000 Yezidi women have been taken by the radical group as sex slaves.
After more than a year of ISIS occupation, the Yezidi region of Shingal was liberated in November at the hands of the Peshmerga, supported by the U.S.-led coalition’s air cover.
After ISIS departure, the Kurdish forces have discovered several mass graves in Shingal. Most of the victims were women and children from the Yezidi minority. Specialized teams, that have been inspecting traces of the people disappeared during the group’s rule over the Yezidi-populated region, have so far discovered five mass graves belonging to Yezidi civilians, according to human rights activists and Peshmerga officials who spoke to ARA News.
Reporting by: Sarbaz Yousef
Source: ARA News
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