By Ahmed Qassem, Ali H. M.Abo Rezeg
At least five Christian protesters were injured by Shia militia gunfire in northern Iraq on Saturday, according to a local police officer.
Scores of Christians demonstrated in the town of Bartala in northern Iraq to protest assaults by members of the Hashd al-Shaabi militia against their minority, Capt. Agathon Saleh told Anadolu Agency.
He said militiamen opened fire in an attempt to disperse the protesters, who chanted slogans against the Shia militia.
Three men and two women were injured by the gunfire, he said.
According to the officer, nine militia members were arrested by Iraqi counter-terrorism forces.
“Many Christians are angry with practices of the Hashd al-Shaabi militia and consider them a continuation of violations committed by the Daesh terrorist group,” Saleh said.
Iraqi Christians have fled their homes in northern Iraq after Daesh militants seized vast swathes of territory in the country’s north and west in 2014.
Many Christians, however, began to return to their homes after Iraqi forces managed to expel the terrorist group from areas under its control.