By BosNewsLife Middle East Service
BAGHDAD, IRAQ (BosNewsLife)– Christians in Iraq were mourning Thursday, February 25, members of two christian families who were killed in the northern city of Mosul.
On Tuesday, February 23, attackers drove by the home of one Christian family in Mosul, firing shots at the dwelling from their car, said Christian advocacy group Open Doors USA.
“Then they forced themselves into the house and gunned down the entire family. They even threw two bodies outside the house as a cruel warning for others,” added an Open Doors worker in Iraq, speaking on condition of anonymity. The names of the Christians were not immediately released.
On the same day, the father and two brothers of an Assyrian Catholic priest, Mazin Ishoo, were also murdered in their Mosul home, Catholic church sources and the worker said.
MORE CHRISTIANS KILLED
Last week four other Christians were killed, including two students named Zaya Toma and Ramsen Shamael, and Mosul residents Najem Fatoohy and Rayan Salem. On February 20 the body of another Christian, Adnan Aldhan, was found in front of the gate of another Christian family’s home.
American troops remain at an airbase outside Mosul, but under the current U.S.-Iraq security agreement will not confront local violence unless they are asked to intervene by Iraqi forces. The latest violence has led to a new wave of refugees with hundreds of Christians reportedly fleeing Mosul, Open Doors USA said.
Some rights groups have linked the attacks against Christians to attempts by militants to destabilize the region ahead of upcoming parliamentary elections March 7.
Over 100,000 Christians lived in Mosul a decade ago, according to Christian estimates, bit up to 300 Christian families are believed to live in the city today.