ISIS bombs found in an Iraqi mosque by the UN

by Amos Kalu
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During restoration work in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the United Nations reported that they had found five bombs in a wall of the famous Al-Nuri mosque, planted years ago by the Islamic State group.

A UNESCO representative told AFP late Friday that the team working at the site discovered five “large-scale explosive devices, designed to trigger a massive destruction of the site” in the prayer hall’s southern wall on Tuesday.

Mosque

The 12th-century Al-Nuri mosque in Mosul and the nearby leaning minaret known as Al-Hadba, or the “hunchback,” were destroyed in the fight to retake the city from IS.

The UN cultural organisation UNESCO has been working to restore the site and the city’s other architectural heritage, much of which was destroyed in the fight to retake the city in 2017.

“The situation is now fully under control after the Iraqi armed forces promptly secured the area,” UNESCO continued.

Although one bomb was taken out, four more “remain connected to each other” and should be cleared in the next few days, according to the statement.

When the site was cleared by Iraqi forces in 2020, the agency stated, “These explosive devices were hidden inside a wall, which was specially rebuilt around them: it explains why they could not be discovered.”

The Joint Operations Command spokesperson for the various Iraqi forces, General Tahseen al-Khafaji, confirmed that “several explosive devices from ISIS jihadists in Al-Nuri mosque” had been found.

In July 2014, the then-leader of IS, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, declared the creation of the group’s “caliphate” from the Al-Nuri mosque.

Large portions of Iraq and neighbouring Syria were overrun by the jihadists, who brutally ruled over them.

In 2017, IS was driven from Mosul by Iraqi forces supported by a coalition led by the US.

AFP

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