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Iraqi Christians return after IS amid safety concerns

A year after their liberation from IS, Christian towns in Iraq are populated once again by their original inhabitants, but many remain wary about returning home.
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QARAQOSH, Iraq — “We want our own guards. It is too difficult without them,” said 70-year-old Sarah Kriaqosh Hannah. “Before, they were our sons. Now we do not know who they are.”

She has walked into the office of Father Yacoub of the Syrian Orthodox Mar Shimoni Church in Bartella. The church next door is still partly burned and damaged a year after the Christian town on Iraq’s Ninevah plains was liberated from the Islamic State (IS). Many houses, too, still bear the scars of two years’ occupation by the radical group, looting and coalition bombs aimed at driving out or killing the IS leadership.

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