BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi officials in the northern city of Mosul said Saturday that militants with the Islamic State group have begun demolishing the ancient archaeological site of Hatra in northern Iraq in a push to rid its territory of symbols it says promote idolatry.
An official with the ministry of tourism and antiquities' archaeological division in Mosul told The Associated Press that multiple residents living near Hatra heard two large explosions this morning, then reported seeing bulldozers begin demolishing the site. He spoke anonymously for fear of reprisal.
The Sunni extremist group has been campaigning to purge ancient relics they say promote idolatry that violates their fundamentalist interpretation of Islamic law. A video they released last week shows them smashing artifacts in the Mosul museum and in January, the group burned hundreds of books from the Mosul library and Mosul University, including many rare manuscripts.
Of course, they will blame Bush. Now if we can get them to destroy a memorial to Harvey Milk or Margaret Sager, they will put on their "concerned" look.
On Friday, the group looted artifacts from Nimrud, a 3,000-year-old city in Iraq, and bulldozed it in a move United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon declared "a war crime."