The small dorm room in Kirkuk, with gray-speckled terrazzo floors and wooden cots, was home to Monaly Najeeb and six other Christian women after ISIS took hold in Mosul and they were forced to abandon college.

They restarted their studies in the Kurdish-controlled city, in that humble room, where they could once again study, pray and even laugh.

The church-run residence for the displaced girls became a sanctuary.

Until one terrifying day last week.

The horror began early on Friday, before the sun had a chance to rise. Monaly, an engineering graduate who became a mentor to the other women, spoke through an interpreter to give this account to CNN.

The girls hid in this room for seven hours until ISIS fighters finally left.

It was about 4 a.m. when the women heard gunfire and explosions outside. Five days earlier, Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces had launched a major offensive to oust ISIS fighters in Mosul. Now Kirkuk, 100 miles to the south, had become a target for retaliation.

Read more- CNN

Image courtesy of CNN