"Blinded" Daesh militants fail to spot 7 students hiding under beds to escape them

As the armed forces began to recapture Mosul, liberating the Christian towns of Qaraqosh and Bartella, the town of Kirkuk was the subject of an offensive by ISIS militants. Faced with strong resistance from the population, the combatants had to take shelter in occupied houses. 7 young students had to hide for 18 hours under beds, while the fighters ate and drank in the next room. For the Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk, “It's a miracle! ".

Dn the night of October 20-21, 2016, the Kurdish-controlled Iraqi town of Kirkuk was attacked by a large group of Islamist Daesh militants targeting the governorate, police and security forces. Thanks to strong resistance from the population and the forces in place, the offensive failed and the militants were forced to take shelter in several surrounding houses.

But the convent of the Dominican Sisters of Sainte-Catherine-de-Sienne and 4 houses of the archdiocese where Iraqi refugee students were accommodated, are located not far from the governorate. The archdiocese welcomes 500 students of all faiths, Chaldean of course, but also Yazidis, Muslim or Sabean. 71 of them occupied the 4 houses in Kirkuk.

Monsignor Yousif Thomas Mirkis, Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah recounts the events in a press release entitled, "When love and courage meet the miracle comes true".

“At dawn on Friday October 21, the students felt that there were people climbing up the houses and holed up in the gardens, and starting to make the Muslim call to prayer. One of them even photographed one of them heavily armed with explosive belts. We warned the security forces of the gravity of the situation. They stayed all day in fear, in the houses without electricity until the evening, when the attack was given by the Iraqi special forces, but the fire was so intense in all directions, they could not free them. "

After another attempt, 14 young girls were released, despite the presence of snipers on the rooftops. Other activists were still in a house that housed 7 students. The young girls hid under the beds in a room adjacent to the one where the combatants ate and drank.

“The terrorists ate and drank, the girls stayed under the beds, and the Lord blinded the terrorists. I was in contact with the girls by cell phone, I took a risk asking them to go out barefoot, towards the back wall of the house where we were going to welcome them one by one. It had to be done in a minute, and it was done. The forces with me were of exemplary efficiency and courage. So in the dark of the night, and despite the gunfire raining down around us, they were all saved. "

A third group of 30 girls was also released early in the morning by Swat forces.

Paying tribute to the security forces and recalling the usefulness of the mobile phone, Bishop Mirkis testifies:

"The astonishing thing is the fact that seven students remained under the beds for 18 hours without making a movement ..."

The students were all transferred to Erbil for a period of rest and renewal. The archbishop thus concludes:

“We give thanks to the Lord, who showered us with his blessing, it is a true miracle that he gave, that night to his children. "


source: RCF

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