Gunmen kill two Christian sisters in northern Iraq: Police

MOSUL, Iraq: Gunmen killed two Christian sisters after breaking into a home in the volatile northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Wednesday and then
leaving behind a booby-trap bomb for security forces, police said.

The sisters’ mother was hurt in the initial attack and two policemen were wounded when the bomb left by the intruders went off as they entered the house, the police officer added on condition of anonymity.

More than 2,000 Christian families fled Mosul in October after a wave of killings in the city, which the US military considers one of the last bastions of al-Qaida in Iraq.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Tuesday that some were starting to return, with around one-third of the families in one neighbourhood having come back to their homes.

Since the US-led invasion of 2003, more than 200 Christians have been killed across Iraq and a string of churches attacked, with the violence intensifying in recent months, particularly in the north.

Around 800,000 Christians lived in Iraq at the time of the invasion, but the number has since shrunk by around a third as members of the minority community have fled the country, according to Christian leaders.