People have drinks at a bar in the town of Qaraqosh, south of Mosul, Iraq July 18, 2017. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
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It is the first bar to reopen since Daesh militants were routed from the northern Iraqi town of Qaraqosh nine months ago in the early stages of a campaign to retake Mosul, around 15 kilometers west.Some of the bar's patrons, however, are Muslims, savoring the freedom to drink and smoke, which they were denied under Daesh.Around 400 families have now returned to Qaraqosh, also known as Hamdania, which was the largest Christian settlement in Iraq until Daesh took over, with a population of more than 50,000 .On a more positive note, the customer said the presence of Muslims in the bar showed that peaceful co-existence with Christians was still a possible reality.He later admitted, however, that trust between the two communities was broken because many Sunnis from the surrounding villages had supported Daesh.
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