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ICC Note: Approximately 100 bombs planted by ISIS near the Christian town of Bashiqa have detonated in a controlled explosion by Iraq’s security forces. ISIS left mines and bombs scattered across the Nineveh Plains, the traditional home of Iraq’s Christians. There are so many left behind that it will take months, if not years, to remove these weapons which were meant to discourage Christians from returning.      

06/07/2018 Iraq (Christian Times Pakistan) –   Iraq’s forces have detonated about hundred bombs planted by the ISIS militants in an area less than a kilometer away from a Christian town near Mosul. The news was confirmed by the Defense Ministry of Iraq, that dozens of bombs were destroyed in the Nineveh plains.

The Iraqi Ministry of Defense stated that its intelligence and military units within the Nineveh Operations Command, destroyed 100 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in a controlled detonation. This task was accomplished based on accurate information, it state. These bombs had been planted some 750 meters from the predominantly-Christian town of Bashiqa in the Nineveh Plain.

The terror group Islamic State (ISIS), which held Mosul and nearby areas for almost three years before it was expelled by the Iraqi and allied forces. The Ministry stated that the terror group has also called on its followers to continue offensive against the civilians and the Iraqi forces.

This statement was posted on the official Facebook page of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, it was explained that the bombs were “remnants of the terrorist group,” and that engineers had “eliminated the threat”. The pre-dominantly Christian town Bashiqa was taken over by ISIS in mid-2014.

Since 2014, the terror group started capturing large swathes of territory in northern Iraq. The religious minorities nestled in the areas that fell to the terror group were forced to flee. The minorities including Christians, Yezidis, Shiites and others were given three choices. Either to convert to Islam, pay Jaziya or die. The terrorists had also carried out mass executions of Christians, Yezidis and others.

As a result of this onslaught, the religious minorities fled from their towns and cities. In 2017, the Iraqi forces and their allied militias recaptured Bashiqa and other disputed captured areas from ISIS.

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