Friday, 2 January 2015

IS militants damage ancient citadel, shrines in Iraq

ISIL militants apparently are continuing their destruction of shrines in Iraq's northern province of Nineveh ('IS militants damage ancient citadel, shrines in Iraq', Business Standard December 31, 2014)
The militants planted bombs in the northern and western parts of the ancient Tal Afar citadel, which is located in the militant-seized town of Tal Afar, some 70 km west of provincial capital Mosul, and blew them up before noon, destroying large parts of the ancient walls of the fortress, Mohammed Ibrahim al-Baiyati, head of the provincial security committee, told Xinhua. The militants apparently are continuing to blew up the remaining parts of the ancient citadel walls, Baiyati said, adding that the militants reportedly excavated some of the ruin sites in the citadel looking for some antiquities, probably to sell them to fund their activities. The Tal Afar fortress is believed to be a remnant from the Assyrian period. After the US-led invasion in 2003, the site inside the citadel has been used as the house of the city's mayoral, municipal and police headquarters before the IS militants seized the town in June.

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