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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

ISIL militants destroying another ancient site in N Iraq

Iran Press TV

Sat Mar 7, 2015 3:26PM

The Takfiri ISIL militants have started destroying the 2,000-year-old town of Hatra in northern Iraq in their latest act of targeting the country's cultural heritage.

According to Iraqi officials and residents, the terrorists on Saturday carried out two explosions at the site and then began bulldozing it, which is located about 110 kilometers (70 miles) southwest of the militant-held city of Mosul.

Hamed al-Jabouri, the head of the archaeology department at Mosul University, said the ISIL terrorists had detonated Hatra's ancient ruins and artifacts with explosives.

"This is a new crime committed today by Daesh (ISIL) against Iraqi antiquities," he told German news agency DPA, adding, "This is an irreparable loss."

The Iraqi Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, in a statement posted on Facebook, also confirmed the attack, saying, "The slow support of the international community to Iraq has encouraged terrorists to commit another crime of damaging and stealing antiquities in Hatra."

On February 26, the ISIL terror group released footage showing its members smashing statues and carvings in a museum in Mosul, which houses invaluable Assyrian and Hellenistic artifacts dating back 3,000 years.

On Thursday, Iraqi officials announced that the ISIL militants "bulldozed" the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, south of Mosul. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) denounced the attack as "cultural cleansing" and said "the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage constitutes [is] a war crime."

Hatra dates back to the Seleucid Empire, which was in control of a large part of the ancient world conquered by Alexander the Great. It is known for its outstanding pillared temple.

The Takfiri terrorists have already razed to the ground a number of mosques in Syria and Iraq, parts of which they control. The terrorists have also destroyed tombs belonging to revered Shia and Sunni figures.

MR/HJL/SS



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