ERBIL – Extremists of the Islamic State (ISIS) have bombed a historic church in Mosul city in Iraq’s northwestern Nineveh province, activists reported on Wednesday.
Local media activists told ARA News that ISIS jihadis have bombed the Sa’a Qadima Church in central Mosul, using a large deal of explosives.
“A group of ISIS militants on Sunday planted a large deal of explosive devices inside the historic church, and then detonated it,” media activist M.J. said.
“The operation has led to the complete destruction of the church,” the source told ARA News.
The Clock Church was reportedly building in 1872 in Mosul downtown.
Rights activist Anass Hamzawi said that the bombardment of the church comes within a series of ISIS-led attacks targeting the ancient heritage of Nineveh province.
“The Sa’a Qadima Church [or the Clock Church] used to be a main archeological site in Mosul. ISIS terrorists have bombed it completely, as if they tend to eliminate the historic identity of the region and establish their own barbaric culture,” Hamzawi told ARA News.
“The clock has for long represented the cultural diversity within Mosul. Today our city has lost a main landmark,” said a displaced history teacher from Mosul. “The group has first robbed the precious contents of the church before bombing it.”
ISIS extremists destroy parts of Nineveh ancient wall northern Iraq
Militant fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) have reportedly destroyed an Assyrian monument and parts of the ancient wall in Iraq’s historic city of Nineveh, local sources reported on 16 April.
Speaking to ARA News, spokesman of the Nineveh media center Raafat al-Zirari said that ISIS militants have brought several trucks to the region and completely demolished the historic Assyrian gate of Adad.
“A few days ago, the terror group has smashed the archeological gate of Mashka [al-Masqa] in the western part of the city. ISIS is likely going to destroy the rest of the historic monuments in the region,” he added.
Shaping the wall of the historic city, the ruins of Nineveh are surrounded by huge stones and mud bricksــ that date back to 700 BC, with a length of 12 km, built of carved stones and mud bricks.
The city of Nineveh contains 15 gates, that are currently monitored through security checkpoints to control the entrants to the city. The gates were well-fortified for any external incursion in the past, according to archeologists.
Recently, five new gates were discovered, including the Mashka, Nergal, Adad, Shamash and Halsey [Khalsa].
Jihadis present a critical threat to Syria’s and Iraq’s heritage through their extremism. They have destroyed Shrines and tombs in the areas under their control because they view them as idolatrous symbols.
Around 1000 archaeological sites in Syria and Iraq have been attacked by ISIS and other Islamist groups, according to reports.
ISIS destroys archaeological symbol in Mosul dates to the 7th century BC
Militant fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) have reportedly destroyed another archaeological icon in the Iraqi city of Mosul, using military equipment, local sources reported on 15 April.
Local activists confirmed that ISIS demolished the Gate of God [Eia] which dates back to the 7th century BC, the time of the Assyrian king Sennacherib.
Speaking to ARA News in Mosul, media activist Zuheir Mousilly said that since its control over the city of Mosul in 2014, ISIS have destroyed much of Iraqi historic sites and monuments, including the Assyrian city of Nimrud, the Winged Bulls, and the Mosul National Museum, after stealing the removable pieces for smuggling.
The expert on the Iraqi Antiquities Affairs Yasser Hatami condemned the destruction of the historic gate “Mishqi”, blaming Iraqi authorities for the incident for their inability to protect it [Mishqi gate].
The historic Mishqi gate, which was discovered in 1968, is considered one of the ancient gates in eastern Nineveh province.
“ISIS views tombs they destroy as sacrilegious and a return to paganism,” Syrian antiquities chief Abdul Maamoun Abdulkarim told ARA News in an earlier report.
Last year, ISIS extremists bombed the renowned Yezidi ancient minaret of the Shingal district (120 km west of the city of Mosul), in northern Iraq.
In April, 2015, the terror group blew up the church of Virgin Mary in the Assyrian village of Tel Nasri near the town of Tel Temir (50 km west of Hasakah) in northeastern Syria.
Also, the radical group blew up two monuments in the ancient city of Palmyra in central Syria in June, 2015, according to local sources.
Reporting by: Sozbin Celeng and Sarbaz Yousef
Source: ARA News
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