MOSUL — Nearly 3,000 Iraqi Christian families have been repatriated since the liberation of the Nineveh Province from the so-called Islamic State (IS), a local official said on Sunday.
According to Dureid Hekmat, advisor for the governor of Nineveh in regards to Christian affairs, told the National News Center that the regions of Hamadaniyah and Tel Saqf have reached the highest number of returning Christians, since the Iraqi government declared the liberation of the region in August.
Hekmet said that the eastern part of Mosul alone has received around 500 returning families, and more are expected to come, as the rebuilding process continues.
However, the areas of Bashiqa and Bartella in northern Nineveh are so far receiving a lower number of returnees, but the Iraqi authorities have planned to repatriate more than one million displaced Iraqi civilians back to their homes in Nineveh by the end of this year.
The Iraqi forces successfully liberated the entire city of Mosul in July, after nine months of battling the IS extremist group. Later on in August, the government declared the liberation of Tel Afar (located about 65 kilometers west of Mosul).
The areas were captured by the IS militants back in 2014, when the group emerged in Iraq and declared its self-proclaimed "caliphate," killing thousands of Iraqi civilians and causing the displacement of hundreds of thousands more.