• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Italian Christians warn of Iraq 'extremist violence'

AFP · 12 Jun 2014, 10:11

Published: 12 Jun 2014 10:11 GMT+02:00

"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 or ISIS) 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.

As many as half a million Iraqis fled their homes in Mosul as ISIL vowed on its Twitter account "not to stop this series of blessed offensives."

Sant'Egidio, which said around half of Iraq's 400,000 Christians live in the Niniveh province, described reports of "numerous victims" and attacks on "sacred buildings, churches and convents, which have been set alight."

Sant'Egidio called on the international community and the Iraqi government "to do everything possible to interrupt the spiral of violence."

Known for its ruthless tactics and suicide bombers, ISIL is arguably the most capable force fighting President Bashar al-Assad inside Syria as well as the most powerful militant group in Iraq.

Story continues below…

ISIL is led by the shadowy Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and backed by thousands of Islamist fighters in Syria and Iraq, many of them Westerners.

It appears to be surpassing Al-Qaeda as the world's most dangerous jihadist group.

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Two arrested over WhatsApp terrorism probe
The two men had been living in Italy for years. Photo: Raffaele Esposito/Flickr

A WhatsApp message mistakenly sent to a woman in Liguria sparked a full-blown terror probe.

Italian team finds vaccine against western diet's ills
An Italian team have discovered a vaccine that could protect against illnesses caused by the typical western diet. Photo: Alpha/Joe Flintham/Flickr

The vaccine could reduce incidences of type 2 diabetes and heart problems commonly associated with obesity.

The Local List
12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Italy
Photo: Alberto Fava/Flickr

When you move to Italy, you're bound to make a few mistakes before you settle into la dolce vita. Here are a few to look out for...

Higuain goes from hero to zero after big-money Juve deal
The striker moved to Juventus on Monday for €90 million.Photo: Carlo Hermann/AFP

Napoli fans are furious with their former Argentinian talisman after his big-money move to rivals Juventus.

Fiat Chrysler revises 'doctored' sales figures amid probe
Fiat Chrysler is being investigated over allegations it doctored US sales figures. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

The company now says it did not really celebrate a streak of monthly year-over-year sales gains going back to April 2010.

Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain joins Juventus: official
Gonzalo Higuain is now a Juventus player. Photo: Nelson Almedia/AFP

Gonzalo Higuain completed his move to Juventus after the Italian champions reportedly agreed to pay a €94.7 million buyout clause to wrest the Argentine striker from Napoli on Tuesday.

Italy's government nets €759 million in air traffic sale
Italy has sold part of its air traffic service company Enav. Photo: Luigi Rosa/Flickr

The Italian government on Tuesday sold part of air traffic service company Enav on the stock exchange, netting €759 million.

After Brexit, keep a close eye on Italy's Five Star Movement
Italy's Five Star Movement (MS5) is now the country's most popular political party. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

The political pulse of Italy has changed its rhythm.

'Hoax' package causes bomb scare on Milan's underground
The suspect package created chaos for rush hour travellers on the city's underground. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

"It was probably left there deliberately to create panic."

Rome cracks down on splash-happy fountain dippers
Rome's fountains may seem tempting, but bathing is forbidden. Photo: TrastevereRM/Delilah Jay/Sean Mcentry

Cooling off with a midnight dip in Rome's famous Trevi Fountain may sound like a dream "Roman Holiday", but an Italian police crackdown has landed a series of splash-happy tourists with fat fines.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Italian hotspots struggling with 'too many tourists'
Culture
Meet the Italian chef behind the world's best restaurant
Travel
Escape the heat at one of these beautiful Italian lakes
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Why the UK is now officially crazier than Italy
Culture
How you can stay cool like an ancient Roman
Lifestyle
Food for thought: fight on to save Med diet from extinction
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
From asylum seeker in Italy to organic yoghurt entrepreneur
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Fifteen maps that tell the story of Italy
National
Why Italy might be the next big threat to the EU's future
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Politics
Post Brexit, less than a third of Italians want to leave EU
Politics
The bright side of Brexit: the 'good news' for Brits in Italy
Culture
Eight wonderful things to do in Italy in July
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Six of the best places to visit within easy reach of Rome
British business owners in Italy feel Brexit jitters
National
How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Society
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Politics
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Culture
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
2,576
jobs available