World Bulletin / News Desk
Rebels loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, who overran Iraq's second biggest city Mosul last month, reportedly demolished ancient shrines and mosques in and around the northern city on Saturday.
Al Arabiya reported that four shrines built around the graves of Muslim saints have been demolished, while six Shi'ite mosques were also destroyed across the northern Nineveh province.
Photographs published by the ISIL showed shrines being wrecked using bulldozers while Shi'ite landmarks were blown up by explosives. Confirming the demolitions, locals also said ISIL fighters had occupied Mosul’s Chaldean and Syrian Orthodox cathedrals, removing crosses and replacing them with ISIL flags.
“We feel very sad for the demolition of these shrines, which we inherited from our fathers and grandfathers,” said Ahmed, a 51-year-old resident of Mosul, told Al Arabiya. “They are landmarks in the city.”
Mosul was captured by ISIL rebels on June 10 after local Sunni Muslim tribes pledge allegiance to them in protest against the Baghdad-based government led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is accused of stirring sectarian strife by prioritizing Shi'ite Muslims.Last Mod: 05 Temmuz 2014, 17:50