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Italian Catholic community warns Christians at risk in Iraq

An Iraqi Kurdish security guard checks the ID cards of Iraqi families fleeing violence in the northern Nineveh province as they gather at a Kurdish checkpoint in Aski kalak, on June 11, 2014An Italian Catholic community warned Wednesday of violence against Christians in Iraq, where a jihadist takeover in Mosul has seen as many as half a million people flee their homes. “From the sketchy information coming out of Mosul it appears Christians are once more the victims of terrorism and bloodshed,” the Sant’Egidio community, which promotes dialogue between religions, said in a statement. “An explosion of extremist violence is putting at risk a project of religious integration and social development, based on coexistence and collaboration between Christians and Muslims,” it said. Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and their allies on Tuesday seized Mosul and surrounding Nineveh province, and militants have since then captured a large swathe of northern and north-central Iraq.

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