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Jun 27,2007
Christians flee to northern Iraq
by UPI

KARA-ULA, Iraq - Christian refugees from some of the most war-torn Baghdad neighborhoods have settled in the Kurdish north of Iraq.

Some 70 homes have been erected in Kara-Ula, a village on the Turkish border, to house Christians fleeing the violence and death threats that marked living in the Iraqi capital, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

"We saw everything a human can see," said Majida Hamo, a mother of four who moved to the village from Baghdad's Mashtel neighborhood. "It was a kind of genocide killing."

The land chosen by the refugees was taken from Christians in 1975 by the government of ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Residents said they were taken from the area in army trucks and forced to make new lives for themselves in Baghdad, the Times said.

Many of the lower-income refugees expressed pleasure at returning to the land, but some former upper-middle-class residents decried the lives they were forced to leave in Baghdad, the Times said.

Suhail Nissan, a former bank manager and mother of four, told the Times her children no longer receive the first-rate education they were enrolled in before violence broke out and her savings aren't likely to last.

copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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