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Appalling ISIS video shows ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud being razed to ground

2015.04.13 03:59

A video allegedly showing Islamic State militants using bulldozers and explosives to destroy the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud has been posted online. The UNESCO cultural site near Mosul is one of Iraqi’s greatest archaeological treasures.

The seven-minute video shows the jihadists vandalizing the ancient reliefs in Nimrud, an area that is held by militants. They also used sledgehammers and drills to bring down some of the walls and ultimately levelled the whole complex with explosives.

The video follows a statement made by Iraqs Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in March. It said Nimrud, a UNESCO cultural heritage site with archaeological riches dating back to the 13th century BC, was bulldozed with heavy machinery. RT could not verify the footage.

On Sunday, an Iraqi Antiquities Ministry official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told AP that all items at the cultural site were authentic.

The jihadists have previously said they consider the artifacts to be idolatry. The militants, who have created a self-proclaimed caliphate in northern Iraq and parts of Syria, have been waging a campaign to obliterate cultural sites and relics, which do not fall in line with their ideology.

Another video released in April, shows the Islamic State (IS) destroying the 2,000-year-old ruins in the ancient Hatra city in northern Iraq, 110 kilometres south of Mosul.

The jihadists obliterated ancient artifacts in the Mosul Museum in February, while they also blew up the Mosul Public Library, using homemade bombs. The Central Library of Mosul was not spared either. IS militants burned all the books and left only Islamic publications.

In March, the UN cultural agencys chief, Irina Bokova, slammed the destruction of Nimrud, saying that it amounted to a war crime.

Last month UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on the international community to “swiftly put a stop to such heinous terrorist activity and to counter the illicit traffic in cultural artifacts, as demanded by Security Council resolutions.”

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