Pope Francis visits Iraq’s war-ravaged north on last day of tour

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The video item below is a piece of English language content from Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera is a Qatari state-funded broadcaster based in Doha, Qatar, owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network.

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  • Al Jazeera English published this video item, entitled “Pope Francis visits Iraq’s war-ravaged north on last day of tour” – below is their description.

    Pope Francis is in northern Iraq for the third day of his historic visit, he is holding a prayer service in Mosul for victims of war.

    He has used the trip to appeal for tolerance and unity among religious groups.

    Mosul was once home to a vibrant Christian community before the city was destroyed by fighters from the ISIL (ISIS) armed group. Efforts are now under way to rebuild the city.

    Al Jazeera’s Simona Foltyn reports from Mosul’s old city, Iraq.

    Al Jazeera English YouTube Channel

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    In This Story: Iraq

    Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia. The capital and largest city is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, Yazidis, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandaeans, Circassians, Sabians and Kawliya. Around 99% of the country’s 38 million citizens are Muslims, with small minorities of Christians, Yarsans, Yezidis and Mandeans also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.

    Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km (36 miles) on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, historically known as Mesopotamia, is often referred to as the cradle of civilisation.

    Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 19 governorates, four of which make up the autonomous Kurdistan Region. Disputes over the sovereignty of Kurdistan Region continue.

    Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF.

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