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IRAQ: Pope Francis visits regions once held by Islamic State

Pope Francis celebrating mass in the Kurdish city of Irbil Irbil, Mar.8.– Christians were among those targeted by IS when they seized the region in 2014, carrying out human rights abuses.

On Sunday the Pope prayed among ruined churches in Mosul, the former IS stronghold, before meeting Christians.

Celebrating Mass at a stadium in Irbil, the last big set piece of his visit, he said Iraq would remain in his heart.

In Mosul he visited Church Square to pray for the victims of the war with the Islamic State group, which left thousands of civilians dead.

Surrounded by the tottering ruins of the square's four churches, he said the exodus of Christians from Iraq and the broader Middle East had done "incalculable harm not just to the individuals and communities ..."

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