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‘Exodus’ of Iraqi Christians after church attack: UNHCR

The UN refugee agency said Friday an “exodus” of thousands of Iraqi Christians was taking place following a deadly church attack in Baghdad carried out by Al-Qaeda militants at the end of October.

“Since the Baghdad church attack on 31 October, and subsequent targetted attacks, the Christian comunities in Baghdad and Mosul have started a slow but steady exodus,” said Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“At the moment, with this particular group, we have noticed that there is an exodus taking place,” she said, adding that “we know thousands have fled.”

Some 44 worshippers, two priests and seven security force personnel, were killed during the seizure of the Baghdad cathedral and ensuing shoot-out when it was stormed by troops.

Around 60 other people were wounded in the bloodbath, and the five militants who carried it out were also killed.