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Iraqi Christian Leader Condemns Sunni Militants

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako

The head of Iraq's largest church has condemned the Sunni Islamists who drove Christians out of Mosul.

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako said the Islamic State (IS) militants were worse than Mongol leader Genghis Khan and his grandson Hulagu who ransacked medieval Baghdad.

Sako led a wave of condemnation on July 20 of the IS militants who demanded Christians either convert, submit to their radical rule and pay a religious levy or face death by the sword.

At the Vatican, Pope Francis decried what he said was the persecution of Christians in the birthplace of their faith, while UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the Islamic State's actions could constitute a crime against humanity.

Hundreds of Christian families left Mosul ahead of an ultimatum on July 19, many of them stripped of their possessions as they fled for safety.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP