Baghdad: Kurdish involvement is suspected in the recent wave of violence against Christians in Mosul, Gulf News has learnt.

"Investigations have been completed and proved the involvement of Kurdish militias in the displacement and killing of Christians," Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki reportedly said during a discussion with Iraqi lawmakers, according to Osama Al Nojaifi, a deputy in the Iraqi parliament.

Al Nojaifi said Al Maliki had ordered Kurdish units in the Iraqi army out of Mosul but was reluctant to officially announce details of the investigations for fear they would destabilise his government.

Mounting pressure

There is mounting pressure on Al Maliki from the Vatican and some Western countries to hold the perpetrators accountable for the killings, according to sources.

"There are strong doubts about the involvement of Kurdish militia in the killings of Christians in Mosul and we have information that 7-10 Kurdish officers were arrested for alleged involvement in these operations.

"We ask Al Maliki to expose these militias and the political parties who stand behind them," said Lewis Marcos, a prominent Christian member of the municipal council of the Hamdania district in Nineveh province.

The Christian clergy in Iraq remained determined to bring out details of those behind the violence despite fears that its insistence could cause a rift in Iraq, said Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk.

The commander of Kurdish forces in Mosul, Lieutenant General Riyadh Jalal Tawfiq, however, rebuffed the charges. "I haven't heard of such accusations, but it is not true. Kurds have nothing to do with the violence against Christians."

Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan region, also rejected the accusations.