UNESCO: Islamic State looting Syrian, Iraqi sites on industrial scale

By REUTERS
July 2, 2015 17:45

LONDON - Islamic State militants are looting ancient sites across Iraq and Syria on an industrial scale and selling on treasures to middlemen to raise cash, Irina Bokova, the head of the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO said on Thursday.

One fifth of Iraq's about 10,000 official world-renowned sites have were Islamic State control and heavily looted, and it was unclear what was happening in "thousands more" areas, Bokova told a meeting of experts in London.

Some sites in Syria had been ransacked so badly they no longer had any value for historians and archaeologists, and UNESCO was also increasingly worried about Libya, she said.


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