Islamic State fighters destroy antiquities in Iraq

February 26, 2015 14:40

BAGHDAD - Islamic State militants in northern Iraq have destroyed a collection of statues and sculptures dating back thousands of years, according to a video published online in the name of the radical Islamist group.

The video showed the statues, some identified as antiquities from Iraq's 7th century BC Assyrian era, being toppled, smashed and broken up by sledgehammer. A man shown in the video said they were being destroyed because they promoted idolatry.

"The Prophet ordered us to get rid of statues and relics, and his companions did the same when they conquered countries after him," the unidentified man said.

The articles destroyed appeared to come from an antiquities museum in the northern city of Mosul, which was overrun by Islamic State last June, a former employee at the museum told Reuters.

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