Thousands of Christian Iraqis have fled Sunni militant attacks on their villages near Mosul. Many travelled through the night to the safety of a sports centre in Erbil, the capital of an area controlled by Iraq’s Kurds.
The temperatures continued to rise as more Christians arrived to recover from a long night with no sleep.
Diisplaced Christian Ibrahim Marzina Ibrahim said: “There are a lot of people who want to emigrate from this situation because our future, as a Christian minority, is uncertain. Honestly we can’t predict our future.”
Nearly all of Mosul’s Christian families have fled their homes.
Ano Jawhar Abdoka, Head of Shlama Entity for Christian Issues explained: “The only protected zone for the Christians are within the Kurdistan Region Government territories, especially within the Kurdish territory in Iraq. Other places are very dangerous and the are very [many] tensions, of violence against the Christians all over Iraq, especially in the middle and the south of Iraq.”
Some of the displaced Christians will stay at the sports centre. Others will travel on to schools in towns around the Kurdish region.