Extremists of the Islamic State (ISIS) bombed an Assyrian Church in Iraq’s northwestern Nineveh governorate on Sunday.
The radical group has bombed the Barbara Fouq Attal Church in the Assyrian town of Karmlis near Mosul city.
“Daesh [ISIS] jihadis detonated a
number of explosive devices inside the church on Sunday afternoon,”
human rights activist Ghazi Shamoun told ARA News. “The church was
The Assyrian town of Karmlis and other
Christian areas have been evacuated completely subsequent to the ISIS
invasion of Nineveh governorate in June, 2014. Thousands of
Christian families fled their hometowns and took shelter in Iraqi
“The terrorist group has destroyed
dozens of Assyrian churches and archeological sites in Nineveh in a bid
to eliminate the historical identity of the area,” Shamoun said.
History Under Attack
Zuheir Mousilly, a media activist based
in Nineveh, told ARA News that since its control over the city of Mosul
in 2014, ISIS has destroyed much of Iraqi historic sites and monuments,
including the Assyrian city of Nimrud, the Winged Bulls, and the Mosul
National Museum, after stealing the removable pieces for smuggling.
Last April, ISIS demolished the Gate of
God [Eia] which dates back to the 7th century BC, the time of the
Assyrian king Sennacherib.
The expert on the Iraqi Antiquities
Affairs Yasser Hatami condemned the destruction of the historic gate,
blaming Iraqi authorities for the incident for their inability to
protect those archeological sites.
“ISIS views those sites as sacrilegious
and a return to paganism,” Syrian antiquities chief Abdul Maamoun
Abdulkarim told ARA News in an earlier interview.
Last year, ISIS extremists bombed the
renowned Yezidi ancient minaret of the Shingal district (120 km west of
the city of Mosul), in northern Iraq.
In April 2015, the terror group blew up
the church of Virgin Mary in the Assyrian village of Tel Nasri near the
town of Tel Temir (50 km west of Hasakah) in northeastern Syria.
Also, the radical group blew up two
monuments in the ancient city of Palmyra in central Syria in June, 2015,
according to local sources.
Around 1000 archaeological sites in Syria and Iraq have been attacked by ISIS and other Islamist groups, according to reports.