Islamic State bulldozes ancient city of Nimrud, Iraqi officials say

By Danielle Haynes  |  Updated March 6, 2015 at 8:21 AM
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MOSUL, Iraq, March 5 (UPI) -- Islamic State militants used a bulldozer to damage the archaeological site of the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in northern Iraq, the country's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said.

"The terrorist gangs of ISIS are continuing to defy the will of the world and the feelings of humanity after they committed a new crime that belongs to its idiotic series," the ministry said on its Facebook page Thursday, The New York Times reported.

It's the latest in a wave of attacks on artifacts and historic structures members of the terror group have conducted, saying the images promote apostasy.

IS released a video last week appearing to depict militants destroying 3,000-year-old artifacts at Iraq's Mosul Museum.

Ihsan Fethi, a member of the Iraqi Architects Society, told the Times he couldn't "even describe the immensity of this loss."

"This is one of the most famous and probably one of the most important sites in the world," he said.

In its statement, the ministry called for the help of the U.N. Security Council.

"Leaving these gangs without punishment will encourage them to eliminate human civilization entirely, especially the Mesopotamian civilization, which cannot be compensated," the statement said.

The city of Nimrud, built in the 1200s B.C., is located south of present-day Mosul in Nineveh province. The location features carvings telling the stories of ancient King Ashurnasirpal II, who made the city his capital in the 800s B.C. Many of the original steles, carvings and sculptures from the site are how housed a museums across the globe.

It's unclear to what extent the archaeological site sustained damage.

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