Iraq mayor axes Eid celebrations in Muslim-Christian solidarity bid

Thi Qar’s mayor Yahya al-Nasiri apologized when he said the province will not celebrate Eid al-Fitr

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The mayor of the southern Iraqi province of Thi Qar has cancelled celebrations for the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in a bid to show solidarity with Muslims and Christians who fled the northern city of Mosul, a local website reported Sunday.

“[Thi Qar] province has cancelled official Eid celebrations and apologizes for it will not receive congratulations,” Nasriyah website quoted Yahya al-Nasiri as saying in a statement.

The radical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a breakaway Al-Qaeda group, seized Iraq’s second city of Mosul in a lightning offensive on June 10. Shiite Turkmen Muslims, Christian and other minorities fled the city after being threatened by ISIS.

Nawzad Hadi, governor of Arbil, capital of the autonomous Kurds region, has pledged to protect fleeing Christians and other minority groups. The Kurdish territory is currently home to more than two million refugees and internally displaced people from Iraq and Syria, according to the United Nations.

Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr after at the completion of the holy month of Ramadan, ending their month-long dawn-to-sunset fast.

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