BAGHDAD, April 26 (UPI) -- The Islamic State on Monday destroyed the historic Clock Church, one of the city of Mosul's most iconic Christian monuments, an Iraqi official said.
The church was looted and the clock on the tower of the building was destroyed last year, but the militant group destroyed the church by detonating several explosives. Mosul has been under IS-control since June 2014.
The church was paid for by the wife of Emperor Napoleon III, Empress Eugenie of France, as a reward to the Dominican Order Roman Catholic religious sect in the 1870s for the friars' attempts to end a typhoid outbreak. The church previously survived a bombing in 2006.
The militant Islamist group has made a habit of razing and destroying cities and ancient cultural icons in the territories it acquires. In the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria, the Islamic State immediately began demolishing ancient ruins considered among the world's most treasured when it seized control in May last year.
The iconic Temple of Bel, the Arch of Triumph and the Temple of Baalshamin were among structures destroyed by the group identified as a terrorist organization by the United States.
In Mosul, the Islamic State recently destroyed a 2,000-year-old ancient structure called the Mashqi Gate, also known as the Gate of God.
The Iraqi government is in the midst of carrying out a long-term offensive to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State.