Tunnels under ancient Mosul Mosque show Isis focus on loot

in BreakingNews @en by

Extensive excavations by Islamic State militants under Mosul’s ancient Mosque of Jonah show they took care to preserve artifacts for loot, a local archaeologist said on Thursday, in sharp contrast to their public desecration of antiquities.The militants seized the mosque when they stormed through northern Iraq three years ago but experts surveying the damage after it was recaptured in January by a U.S.-backed Iraqi campaign found a network of tunnels dug by the militants, leading down to a 7th century BC Assyrian palace.The careful way the tunnels were dug show the militants wanted to keep the treasures intact, said archaeologist Musab Mohammed Jassim: The digging “was carried out according to a plan and knowledge of the palace”, he said.

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