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UN chief calls on world to stop destruction of Iraqi sites

An Islamic State militant pushes over a statue inside the Mosul museum in the northern Iraqi Governorate of Nineveh, as shown in this image from the Media Office of the Nineveh branch of IS Group on February 26, 2015UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the international community to halt the destruction by Islamic State jihadists of Iraqi archaeological sites, branding the smashing of priceless and ancient artifacts a “war crime”. They may now have turned their attention to the extremely well preserved fortress city Hatra, which is more than 2,000 years old and a UNESCO world heritage site, with the United Nations condemning its reported “destruction”. “The secretary-general urgently calls on the international community to swiftly put a stop to such heinous terrorist activity and to counter the illicit traffic in cultural artifacts,” Ban said in a statement from his spokesman. The UN chief echoed a call by Iraq’s tourism and antiquities minister, Adel Fahad al-Shershab earlier Sunday.

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